ECSO: Drive-by shots fired Thursday could be linked to earlier crimes this week

Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 8:16 PM CST
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PENSACOLA, Fla. (WALA) - New developments in a string of violent crimes in Escambia County, Florida this week.

Five were shot, and two are dead in five different crimes since Sunday. ECSO said shots were fired during a drive-by Thursday and could be linked to some of those cases.

The drive-by shots fired call came in on Y street in Pensacola, and Sheriff Chip Simmons said a deputy identified the vehicle involved and tried pulling it over when a chase followed.

Deputies said they bumped the car on DeSoto and B street, about two and a half miles away. The front end of the suspects’ car was banged up after sheriffs said they drove through a sign at a nearby church. A 9mm semi-automatic rifle was found in the floorboard with a high-capacity drum magazine.

ECSO said the driver jumped out of the car and ran a few blocks but was caught. The passenger refused to get out. Investigators said they had to smash the windows to get him.

Now, the driver, 19-year-old Zykeir Knight and 21-year-old Leslie Huff are arrested.

Sheriff Simmons said this could be related to the string of other violent crimes this week, potentially retaliatory “beef” from an incident in 2020.

“We’re looking into the possibility and or probability that this shooting, the drive by shooting, would be related to some of the previous shootings,” he said. “I would say yes, these shootings have an origin in that particular case, but I would say you have to look at them all individually when investigation.”

Since Sunday, ECSO said five people have been shot and two killed.

One person was killed at a house party on Pin High Drive early Sunday morning, and an Alabama man was found dead off Blue Angel Parkway in a burned vehicle Tuesday.

Sheriff Simmons said his deputies have been working hard.

“They are doing dang good police work every night, being professional and being brave,” he said.

ECSO also said Huff, the passenger, has previous warrants for failure to appear on a weapons charge.


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