Gainesville Police Investigate Two Downtown Homicides, Make Arrest In One


Two fatal shootings that took place four days and two blocks apart this week in downtown Gainesville are under investigation.

An arrest has been made in the first. The Gainesville Police Department doesn’t believe the two are connected.

At 2 a.m. on Friday morning, police say two groups of people fought in a nearby unnamed club and followed each other outside. Shooting began at 100 NW First St., and one of two bystanders hit by bullets died from their injuries. Gainesville police have released no information about the victim.

GPD and the U.S. Marshal Fugitive Task Force on Tuesday arrested 19-year-old Demetrius Aponcedeleon Hardy Jr. on charges of murder, attempted murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He’s being held on a bond of $3.25 million in the Alachua County Jail.

The second shooting happened early Tuesday morning. Officers arrived at the 222 NE First St. parking lot and found an adult male unresponsive with apparent gunshot wounds. The man died, and no suspect has been located. Police believe an argument between shooter and victim preceded the shooting. This is the third homicide in Gainesville of 2020.

The 8th Circuit State Attorney’s Office requested and obtained from Circuit Judge James Colaw an order to seal records in the Friday case, including the sworn complaint affidavit, saying that making public any information about the case would disclose the identities of witnesses.

Hardy served just under 16 months of a two-year prison sentence for 2018 convictions of grand theft of a motor vehicle and fleeing or eluding law enforcement, according to Florida Department of Corrections records. He was living in the 2200 block of Northeast 12th Terrace in Gainesville at the time of his release.

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