The Voice of the Gem City

News May 5, 2022

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Palatka Police continue searching for a 16-year-old wanted in the shooting of another teenager on Tuesday. Officers were patrolling in the area of the Palatka Housing Authority’s James A. Long Complex around 5:30 p.m. when they heard gunshots nearby. They began searching and found multiple shell casings from a handgun and other evidence. While the officers were at the scene, HCA Florida Putnam Hospital contacted the police to report a teenage male was at the hospital with a gunshot wound to the leg. Officers went to the hospital to talk with the victim and his immediate family while others continued canvassed the shooting area and found multiple witnesses. The shooter was identified as Demarion Rasher, 16, of Palatka. Motive is unclear at this time, say officers. A warrant has been issued for Rasher’s arrest for aggravated battery and aggravated assault and the search is continuing today, according to Capt. Matt Newcomb. If you have information on Rasher’s whereabout, contact the Putnam County Sheriff’s Dispatch Center at 386-329-0801 or Northeast Florida CrimeStoppers at 1-888-277-8477.

In Flagler County the Sheriff’s Office is investigating the shooting death of Keymarion Hall, 16. Officials say he is the fourth young black male to die by a gun in the county since the end of December. Hall was a sophomore at Flagler Palm Coast High School where he was a member of the varsity basketball team. The shooting was in the area of East Booe Street in Bunnell shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday. Hall was taken to Halifax hospital in Daytona Beach where he died. About a dozen shots were fired in what was reported as a possible drive-by shooting. Also injured was Nysean Giddens, 24, who was in a vehicle that fled the scene only to be stopped by deputies near a gas station in Bunnell at Seminole Woods and State Road 100. Giddens’ injuries were reported as non-life threatening and after being treated he was released, according to the Sheriff’s office. Giddens was charged with manslaughter last August and has been out on a $25,000 bond. Less than two years ago Hall was shot and wounded during a large party hosted by The Palace Bar in Bunnell. He recovered and returned to school. He was described by several as a talented basketball player who has been part of traveling basketball teams since the age of 9. He apparently had been practicing the night he was killed. The Flagler school district is providing counselors to help students and staff. The sheriff’s office believes the shooting was a “focused event” and that the community is not in danger. The investigation is continuing.

If you were headed over Palatka’s Memorial Bridge Wednesday night, you may have noticed all lights were out. Lights on the bridge are being changed and repaired and some lanes were partially closed as workers made the changes.

It’s the National Day of Prayer. COVID restrictions have led to cancellation of the ceremonies for the last couple of years. The Central Putnam Ministerial Association is holding a ceremony today at noon at St. James United Methodist Church at 400 Reid St. In past years the ceremony has been held on the lawn of the Putnam County Courthouse, which is across the street from St. James.

In St. Johns County Wednesday afternoon a rally with women’s groups was held at the county courthouse as people rallied in support of legalized abortion. The rally was one of a couple in the area stemming from the leaked report of one Supreme Court justice’s draft decision in an upcoming case regarding abortion laws.

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