The deadly shootings of two teenagers in Bunnell this year are believed to be linked, Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said Friday.
The sheriff’s disclosure came during an afternoon news conference with Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida and the family of 16-year-old Noah Smith, a Flagler Palm Coach High School student who was shot and killed in January in Bunnell.
The news conference was held on South State Street near Moody Boulevard in front of a billboard asking for tips in Smith’s death. Staly said the reward for information leading to an arrest of the person who killed the teen has been raised to $15,000. To be eligible for the reward, according to the sheriff, people must call or text tips to Crime Stoppers at 888-277-TIPS (8477) or use the P3 Tips app.
The sheriff also announced that authorities made an arrest that “we know is connected to this case.” He said an 18-year-old was arrested on a charge of possession of a firearm by a delinquent but then clarified that charge is not related to the homicide case.
The initial investigation into Smith’s death was conducted by the Bunnell Police Department and later taken over by the Sheriff’s Office Major Case Unit.
Friday’s news conference took place three days after another teen, 16-year-old Keymarion Hall, died in a shooting in Bunnell.
“We also believe that the murder of Keymarion Hall is directly linked to this case,” Staly said Friday. “There are rumors of pressure being made to keep potential witnesses silent in both cases. In many cases, the people that have information are related relatives or distant relatives or have friendships. We want justice for Noah and Keymarion families just like you do. We ask the family to speak up, tell us what you know and help us bring these investigations to a close.”
Staly said he could not go into the exact link.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, gunshots were reported just after 10 p.m. Tuesday near the intersection of South Pine and East Booe streets. The Sheriff’s Office said its deputies and the Bunnell Police Department responded and learned two people had been shot — including Hall. Deputies said he later died at a hospital from his injuries.
Hall was a sophomore at Flagler Palm Coast High and was a guard on the school’s varsity basketball team, loved ones said.
The second person who was shot Tuesday night did not have life-threatening injuries and was treated and released, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The Sheriff’s Office Major Case Unit is investigating, per the Sheriff’s Office’s contract with the City of Bunnell.
Anyone with information about either case is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office by calling 386-313-4911 or sending an email to [email protected]. Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by calling 888-277-TIPS (8477) — only people who submit information in Smith’s death to that phone number or the Crime Stoppers app will be eligible for the reward.
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