More Details On The Double Homicide At A High Springs Bar
HIGH SPRINGS - UPDATE: Police say Willie J. Wingfield III, the man who is suspected to have killed two at the Santa Fe Bar early Saturday morning has been arrested in Daytona Beach by the U.S. Marshals Office.
The shooting happened at the Santa Fe Bar, Alan Fishman who's been running the bar, for almost 30 years says this is the first time something of this degree has happened there. He says both victims were regulars. He believes that if the city would allow them to be open past 1 a.m., this incident could have been prevented as it gives customers more time to sober up, that's if alcohol played a factor.
"The security man is inside cleaning up... He heard some commotion outside, came to the door and pop pop pop... Heard some shots there was absolutely nothing we could do," Fishman said.
It seems like everyone was having a good time at the Santa Fe Bar until shots were fired. Soon after the bar closed at one in the morning on Saturday, there was an altercation that happened right outside of the parking lot, who started the fight or what it was about is not known yet.
Gerry Davis Sr. the Dj at Santa Fe Bar said, "The situation escalated and they got into a fist fight and I was inside packing my equipment and I heard several gun shots, so that's when I came outside to see what was going on and I when I came out I seen a guy laying down not responding." And that was 38-year-old Dennis Lamont Smith, the other man on the floor was 24-year-old Erik Antonio Akins. Both men were from Fort White and pronounced dead on the scene.
Fishman the owner said, "I laid in bed and twist and turned all night long... Thinking about what could of been done... I knew the guys that were killed."
Gary Legree, is the cousin of one of the victims, Erik Akins. He says he is also a regular at the bar and never expected something like this would happen in the place he's been hanging out in for more than 20 years. "He was a good person, quiet, easy going and Dennis was a friend, pretty good person too," Legree said.
The suspect, Willie J. Wingfield III is a black male, 21 years of age, also from the Fort White area. "I don't know any more about what happened between those three in the past but just from word of mouth. They've had problems amongst themselves before," Fishman added.
Before the sheriff's office released details some residents worried the shooting was race related as the bar is known to be self-segregated by the customers. If you have any information that may lead to an arrest, you can Call Crime Stoppers of Columbia County Sheriff's Office at 386-754-7099.
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