FEMA contractor allegedly traveled from Alabama with two others to kill Florida man, steal guns
(Polk County Sheriff’s Office) Gerjuan Demarcus Jackson, 18, of Mobile, Ala., was arrested Jan. 9, 2018.(POLK CITY, Fla.) — A FEMA contractor is accused of traveling from Alabama with two others to kill a man in Florida and steal his guns.
Gerjuan Demarcus Jackson, for whom detectives found an official FEMA contractor identification, allegedly drove with Kenley Campbell and Darril Lamar Rankin Jr. from their hometown of Mobile, Alabama, on Jan. 3 all the way to Polk City, Florida, where Jackson shot and killed a man he had met last year while on the job, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
William Reiss was found dead inside his residence in Polk City. Reiss’ roommate, Kenneth Maier, was hospitalized in critical but stable condition.
When asked for comment on the alleged incident, FEMA spokesperson Jenny Burke told ABC News in a statement Thursday, “FEMA is aware of an alleged incident that occurred in Polk County, Florida, and are looking into additional details on this matter. Our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of the victims.”
Burke added, “FEMA works closely with law enforcement on a regular basis, and will provide appropriate coordination with law enforcement on this incident.”
Investigators learned Jackson, 18, had allegedly met Reiss while conducting a hurricane damage estimate in 2017, and he purchased two handguns from the Polk City resident. Upon returning to Alabama, Jackson was arrested for possession of marijuana and carrying a firearm without a permit, according to the sheriff’s office.
Campbell, 22, allegedly drove Jackson and Rankin, also 22, to Polk City in his Chevrolet Sonic. Campbell and Rankin stayed inside the vehicle while Jackson went inside Reiss’ residence. Jackson admitted to firing several shots at Reiss and Maier, the sheriff’s office said.
Campbell and Rankin allegedly helped Jackson load Reiss’ firearm collection and flat-screen television into Campbell’s vehicle and Reiss’ Dodge pickup truck. When the three men arrived back in Alabama, Jackson allegedly took Reiss’ truck to a wooded area and set it ablaze.
Investigators later recovered six firearms, an extensive amount of ammunition, electronic devices and clothing believed to be worn by the suspects during the alleged killing. Three of the guns were from Reiss’ looted collection, the sheriff’s office said.
Detectives also discovered a box of latex gloves and apparent trace amounts of blood in Campbell’s vehicle.
Jackson told authorities the stolen guns and television had been sold on “the streets,” except for three firearms that were recovered from Campbell and Rankin’s home. Jackson estimated a total of 20 to 25 firearms were stolen from the Reiss’ residence, according to the sheriff’s office.
“Three killers traveled to Polk City all the way from Mobile, Alabama to steal firearms,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a statement Wednesday. “William Reiss was shot and murdered, and Kenneth Maier was shot and left for dead. Maier is currently in the hospital fighting for his life. I can’t begin to say how disgusted we are at the depravity displayed by these men.”
Campbell and Rankin were arrested Saturday, and Jackson was arrested Tuesday. They were booked into the Mobile County Metro Jail without incident and will be extradited to Polk County at a later date. The three suspects have been charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and armed burglary, among other charges, according to the sheriff’s office.
It’s unclear whether the suspects have obtained attorneys or if they have entered any pleas.
The investigation is ongoing and further charges may be filed, the sheriff’s office said.
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