MIAMI – The FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service (federal marshals service) continue to search Saturday for a teenager they consider “armed and dangerous” and is linked to the deaths of three minors in Marion County, Florida, for which two have already been arrested, authorities said.
In a statement, the Marion Sheriff’s Office (central Florida) said that Tahj Brewton, 16, is the third suspect in the shooting deaths of three teenagers in the rural community of Ocklawaha in that county, where the bodies of the minors were found.
The other two suspects, Robert Robinson, 17, and Christopher Atkins, 12, were arrested, the sheriff’s office said Friday.
The FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service offered $10,000 rewards for information leading to Brewton’s capture.
“In addition to being wanted in connection with these homicides, Brewton has active juvenile custody warrants (…) for several felonies, including carjacking with a firearm, aggravated assault, grand theft of a motor vehicle, fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, and tampering with an electronic monitoring device,” the release detailed.
“Brewton is still at large. He should be considered armed and dangerous. This is where we need your help,” Marion police asked for citizen cooperation.
The events, released Friday, date back to last week, when a young woman identified as Layla Silvernail, 16, was found injured on the road near a dumpster in Ocklawaha. She was rushed to the hospital in critical condition and later died.
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Hours later, the body of a 17-year-old male teenager turned up about a mile away, while a third 16-year-old victim, a female, was found shot to death in Silvernail’s car, partially submerged in a pond.
Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods detailed that along with Silvernail, the deceased girl is 16-year-old Camille Quarles, while the other dead teen has not yet been identified.
“The three attackers turned on our victims and killed them. They fled the scene but left a lot of evidence behind,” Woods said, referring to the attackers as “gangbangers.”
The events reportedly occurred in less than 48 hours between March 30 and April 1 in Ocklawaha.
“It’s horrible to hear because they’re kids. You have to be careful who you’re with today (because) you don’t know who the wrong person is or who’s trying to hurt you or hurt you,” hairstylist Damien Goodin told local media outlet Wesh 2 this Saturday.
According to Goodin, Ocklawaha is a “quiet and friendly” location.