Law enforcement investigating Ponce de Leon rest area homicide


PONCE DE LEON, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) –

UPDATE: 5/2/2021 10:40 p.m.

In a press conference Sunday night, Jackson County and Holmes County Sheriff’s officials released the names of the victims and suspect.

They say the shooting stemmed from a domestic dispute.

Officials identified the suspect as Latorish Gardner of Marianna.

The two victims are identified as Dereck Thompson, of Pensacola, and Mariah Maps. Officials say Maps has children with Gardner. Thompson was pronounced dead on scene and Maps was injured.

Gardner had three children with him when he was arrested. Officials say they are safe.

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UPDATE: 5/2/2021 8:38 p.m.

Jackson County Sheriff’s officials say deputies assisted the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office in the apprehension of the suspect in Sunday’s shooting.

Officials say a vehicle and suspect description led a JCSO investigator to the suspect’s residence. They say dispatch received a call from the suspects’ relative saying he wished to turn himself in. The suspect then surrendered peacefully.

The second victim in the shooting is expected to survive.

At this time the names of the suspect and victims are not being released.

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Florida Highway Patrol officials say law enforcement responded to an active shooting incident on Sunday.

Officials say Panama City and Pensacola District personnel responded to a Ponce de Leon rest area off Interstate 10.

They say one victim was pronounced dead and another was taken to a local hospital.

Officials say a suspect is in custody.

The Holmes County Sheriff’s Office is taking charge of the case.

Copyright 2021 WJHG. All rights reserved.



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