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Fort Myers drive-by shooting victims members of rap group

White truck used; police search for suspects.

Sep. 24, 2012
Three shot in Fort Myers
Three shot in Fort Myers: Fort Myers police are investigating a shooting on Davis Court on Sunday, Sept. 23, that left one man dead and two injured. Video by Dennis Culver.
Fort Myers police were searching for at least one suspect late Sunday night after gunfire erupted in Dunbar, leaving one dead and two others injured. / Dennis Culver/
Jamaris Williams

Location of shooting

View Sept. 23 shooting in a larger map


Fort Myers police have identified the three men shot during a drive-by shooting Sunday night on Davis Court in Dunbar as members of the local rap group the Lake Boyz.

One of the men, identified as 19-year-old Jamaris Williams, died from his injuries. Paul Baldwin, 19, and Tommy Williams, 18, suffered non life-threatening injuries in the shooting.

The group has posted several videos on YouTube in the past year showing various members armed with guns and rapping about violence.

Some of the group’s locally-filmed videos include “Yellow Tape, Black Bags, Toe Tags,” “Bout Dat” and “Paper Chase,” which got the attention of FMPD last year, because members were on camera with guns including an assault rifle.

Police spokeswoman Shelly Flynn said Sunday’s shooting occurred near where one of the group’s videos was shot.

Police responded to the scene shortly before 10 p.m. to a call of shots fired and came into contact with the three men. Jamaris Williams was transported to the hospital as a trauma alert and later died.

Investigators later found the truck believed to have been used in the shooting on nearby Dupree Street. The white truck had been reported stolen in Lee County.

Chief Doug Baker said police have shooting suspects in mind after collecting evidence and receiving anonymous tips, but he said investigators need more information to make arrests.

He raised a common sentiment Monday after what was the 18th homicide in FMPD’s jurisdiction.

“Yes, we need people to come forward,” he said. “It’s a witness issue. Half to three-fourths of our problem is not having people come forward.”

Baker said it’s not surprising violence has followed individuals who have been portraying violence in their music videos.

Jamaris Williams had four run-ins with the law this year. The only felony was when he was charged Feb. 6 with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill. That charged stemmed from his allegedly pointing a gun at another man during an altercation.

State attorney’s office spokeswoman Samantha Syoen said that charge was never pursued, because there was legally insufficient evidence to go forward and the office wasn’t able to contact the victim.

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He also was charged on three separate occasions with trespassing, giving false information to a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest while a search warrant was being served.

Natalie Godreau, 17, who said she recently dated Jamaris Williams, was in a car nearby when the shooting occurred. She said she had exchanged Facebook messages with him during the day and had plans to see him Sunday.

She said she was listening to music when she heard about five or six shots.

“About 10 or 15 minutes later, we heard the ambulances, so I knew it was more than one person,” she said.

Stacey Cobb, 19, said she had known Jamaris Williams since they were young children in elementary school.

“When I heard about it, I thought it was a lie,” she said. “It was shocking to know he died out of all of them.”

Cobb said it’s a dangerous time in the community right now, because of the escalating violence that is revolving around local music. She said she’s nervous even going outside at times.

“There is just a lot of beefing going on,” she said. “This person thinks they are better than that person.”

Cobb said she wouldn’t say the violence in the Dunbar area is necessarily gang-related, but she said it boils down to several people from different pockets of the community infighting with each other over their music, pride and egos.

“The streets is not where you want to be right now, and I just don’t even want to go out there,” she said. “It’s just about the music, and they all just think they are better than somebody. All of these boys are going to end up dead, in prison or in a jail cell.”

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