Three Mobile men charged with killing a man in Polk City, Florid - FOX10 News | WALA

Three Mobile men charged with killing a man in Polk City, Florida

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Gerjuan Jackson (left) Kenley Campbell (center) and Darril Rankin, Jr. (right) (Mobile County Metro Jail) Gerjuan Jackson (left) Kenley Campbell (center) and Darril Rankin, Jr. (right) (Mobile County Metro Jail)

The Polk County, Florida Sheriff's Office said three men from Mobile are responsible planning a gun heist that left one man dead and critically wounded his roommate. 

The suspects are identified as Gerjuan Demarcus Jackson, 18,  Kenley Campbell, 22, and Darril Lamar Rankin Jr., 22. 

The shootings happened January 3 at a lakeside home in Polk City. Investigators said the homeowner who was killed, William Reiss, first met Jackson last year. 

Detectives said Jackson was working as a FEMA contractor and performed a damage assessment on Reiss' home after Hurricane Irma. During that assessment, Jackson learned that Reiss had an extensive firearm collection. A few weeks later, investigators said Jackson returned to the home and Reiss sold him two .45 caliber handguns. 

After Jackson returned to Mobile, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said he was arrested for carrying those guns without a permit. Sometime after getting out of jail, detectives said Jackson told Campbell and Rankin about Reiss' collection of guns. Detectives said the three men then conspired to go to Florida and steal the firearms. 

The sheriff said the three men drove to Polk City in Campbell's compact car, a Chevrolet Sonic.

"While they were riding down to Florida, they talked about the robbery," said Sheriff Judd. "Along the way, Gerjuan told his counterparts, 'I'm just going to kill him.'"

According to investigators, the suspects arrived at Reiss' home around 1:30 p.m. on January 3. Jackson went to the front door while Campbell and Rankin waited in the car.

"Gerjuan had purchased guns from our victim, so the victim obviously opened the door and let him in," said Sheriff Judd.

Once inside, detectives said Jackson shot Reiss in the head.

"He said he shot him once, and noticed he was suffering," said the Sheriff. "So he continued to shoot him because he didn't want him to suffer."

Reiss was shot four times in the head and once in the hand.

After hearing the gunshots, Reiss' roommate, Kenneth Maier, came out of another room in the house and was shot twice in the head and once in the shoulder. A week after the shooting, Maier is still hospitalized in critical condition.

Detectives said Campbell and Rankin joined Jackson inside the home after the shots were fired. Investigators said the men stole about 25 guns and a flat-screen TV. The sheriff said the items would not fit in the compact car, so the men decided to steal Reiss' pickup truck. Once they returned to Mobile, the truck was set on fire and abandoned.

Back at the crime scene, Polk County detectives used surveillance video from nearby homes and businesses to identify the vehicle used by the suspects. They contacted the Mobile Police Department and officers arrested Campbell and Rankin three days after the murder. 

Sheriff Judd said both men confessed to conspiring and pulling off the crime and identified Jackson as the gunman. Jackson avoided police for three more days until he was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals on January 9. Once in custody, investigators said he confessed to killing Reiss and being the mastermind behind the plot. Detectives said Jackson also told them that the TV and most of the guns stolen from Reiss were sold on the street in Mobile. 

Jackson, Rankin, and Campbell are all charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, armed burglary with assault, 13 counts of grand theft of a firearm, robbery with a firearm, conveyance burglary, and grand theft of a motor vehicle. 

All three men are in Mobile County Metro Jail and will be extradited to Polk County. 

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