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Now browsing: Hometown News > News > Brevard County

Brevard reports three shooting deaths during holiday weekend
Rating: 3.22 / 5 (60 votes)  
Posted: 2012 Sep 14 - 00:29

By Chris Fish


BREVARD - Three separate shootings that happened during the Labor Day weekend in Brevard County resulted in three deaths, with a fourth victim in the hospital undergoing treatment.

In the first incident, authorities arrested William T. Woodward, 43, of 1960 Smith Dr. in Titusville the early morning of Monday, Sept. 3.

Police said Mr. Woodward shot his neighbors Gary Lee Hembree, 39, Roger Picior, 44, and Bruce Timothy Blake, 49, outside of their homes.

Mr. Hembree died at the scene, and Mr. Picior died Wednesday, Sept. 5, as a result of his injuries. Though shot several times, Mr. Blake remained in stable condition as of press time.

"(Mr. Woodward) is currently in custody at the Brevard County Jail," Lt. Cleyton Brey of the Titusville Police Department said. "He was very cooperative."

Based on witness statements, Lt. Brey said Mr. Hembree was antagonizing Mr. Woodward earlier in the evening from his adjacent yard, yelling insults directed toward Mr. Woodward's home, as part of an ongoing dispute between the men.

Lt. Brey said the victims were most likely unaware that Mr. Woodward was outside while they were yelling insults in the direction of his home.

Shortly after, Mr. Woodward gunned down Mr. Hembree in his own yard on Smith Drive in Titusville. The other two victims fled to the next yard over. Mr. Woodward then followed the men and shot them, as well.

Lt. Brey said Mr. Woodward, a Gulf War veteran, claimed he suffered from post traumatic stress disorder.

"I believe that is probably the case," Lt. Brey said. "There may have been some kind of brain trauma, as a result of his time in the army."

Police have responded in the past to ongoing disputes between Mr. Hembree and Mr. Woodward, Lt. Brey said.

Palm Bay Police also reported two shootings over the holiday weekend.

Just before 10 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 2, witnesses reported seeing James A. Burgman firing a silver .380-handgun at a blue mini-van at the north parking lot of the Mobil gas station at the intersection of Palm Bay Road and Babcock Street Sunday. At the time of the shooting, the van was parked next door in the SunTrust bank parking lot.

Following the shooting, the driver of the van, who has not yet been identified, drove away. Mr. Burgman then placed the gun in a nearby trash can, police said.

"Mr. Burgman is claiming to have been robbed of $600 cash and stands by his claim to have disarmed one of the subjects in the van," said Yvonne Martinez, public information coordinator at City of Palm Bay.

As of press time, police were still trying to determine who was in the van at the time of the shooting and if any injuries were sustained.

In another incident later that evening, Palm Bay Police reported that 22-year-old Brandon Jones of Palm Bay was shot to death Sunday evening near the intersection of Florida Avenue and Washington Street.

Mr. Jones was transported to the hospital, where he later died.

As of press time, police had not arrested any suspects in the case, and homicide detectives and crime scene technicians were still investigating the incident.

Anyone with information regarding the death of Mr. Jones is asked to contact the Central Florida Crimeline at 1-800-423-8477. Callers can remain anonymous and can be eligible for cash rewards up to $5,000.

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