MARTIN COUNTY — Investigators identified a 19-year-old man as the gunman in a triple shooting that killed a woman and injured two other people in East Stuart on Thanksgiving Day, Stuart police said.
Lonnie Bee Smalls III, 19, faces charges of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted first-degree murder, according to police.
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Police investigators said Smalls shot and killed Mattie Jones, 74, a retired grandmother, and injured two other people with a handgun on Nov. 24 near the intersection on Southeast 10th Street and Southeast Spruce Street.
Jones had been sitting in a lounge chair eating a Thanksgiving meal and watching TV with her son next to her when a bullet went through the window and killed her, her grandson Carrell Gallon told TCPalm in November.
Jones was not the intended target and “an innocent person sitting in her living room,” police said then.
A couple in a vehicle outside the home also got struck by gunfire, police said.
The single-story home where the shooting happened is just down the street from the 10th Street Community Center.
Smalls attempted to shoot a fourth person, who was uninjured, police said. Investigators said that person was with the boyfriend and girlfriend in the vehicle when Smalls fired toward them.
Investigators identified Smalls as a suspect 1 1/2 hours after the shooting and arrested him on a charge of probation violation six hours after the incident, according to a police news release.
Smalls has been in custody without bond since Nov. 25, police said. He was formally charged in connection to the homicide and shooting Thursday.
Stuart police worked with Martin County sheriff’s deputies to execute a search warrant in Indiantown and gathered evidence of the crime.
Police did not elaborate on what Smalls’ relationship is, if any, to Jones and the other people injured.
Reached Thursday, Stuart Police Lt. Michael Gerwan said the Jones family was notified of the arrest and the investigation is ongoing. He declined to discuss more details on the case or say if any there are any other suspects in the case.
“This arrest brings me some closure, and I hope some closure for the Jones family,” Chief Joseph Tumminelli said in a written statement. “The Stuart Police Department is continuing with the investigation, and more information will be available in the future.”