Daytona Beach Police arrested a local man on robbery and firearm charges Wednesday night after gunshots were reported at a convenience store on South Martin Luther King Boulevard. A report on the Daytona Beach Police website says officers were called to the MLK Grocery on Martin Luther King Boulevard around 9 Wednesday night for a robbery in progress. One of the responding police officers approaching the front door of the store said he heard gunfire inside the building, and three Daytona Beach officers then entered the front door of the store and apprehended 22-year old Kenneth Jerome Kirkland. No one was shot in the incident.
The store clerk told police that Kirkland had purchased some items, but then grabbed the money that the clerk had received from the next customer. The clerk said he then locked the front door of the store before Kirkland could leave. The clerk said Kirkland then “…partially presented [a] black handgun from his pocket.” The clerk said he told Kirkland to put the gun on the counter and he would let him leave the store. The clerk says Kirkland then tried to kick out the front door of the store, and unable to do that, went to the back of the store. According to the clerk, Kirkland ran into a storage room when he heard police coming and then the clerk heard “…what sounded like three gun shots coming from that area.”
One customer told police that she had been in the store with her sister, a child and a friend. She told police a man later identified as Kirkland was ahead of her in line, and a woman had told Kirkland he had change. She said when Kirkland reached for the change, the store clerk “…grabbed Kirkland’s beers, upsetting him.” She said Kirkland then pulled a gun from his waistband, so only the handle could be seen. She told police the clerk then locked the front door of the store, but unlocked it after she yelled at him.
Another witness told police Kirkland “…got mad when the clerk took some money from him.” She says Kirkland then grabbed a beer and the clerk grabbed it from him. She says Kirkland then showed the gun to the clerk and she left the store.
Another witness told police she was behind Kirkland in line at the store, and after Kirkland bought cigarettes, he asked her to buy him a beer. She told police when she gave the money for the beer to the clerk, Kirkland “…snatched the money out of the [clerk’s] hand.” When the clerk yelled at Kirkland, she says Kirkland “…reached for his gun…” but she told him “...not to do it and it wasn’t worth it…” and then Kirkland tried to run out the front door. She says Kirkland then ran to the back of the store and she heard three shots, and then Kirkland came back to the front of the store “…like nothing had happened.”
Police: back door of store shot
Daytona Beach Police say Kirkland shot the back door of the store, and they found a “…Hi-Point model 9mm Luger…stashed between two boxes of Mad Dog 20/20 liquor.” Police say the magazine in the gun was empty but one bullet was in the chamber. Police say Kirkland was also treated for a laceration to his hand from pulling on the back door handle damaged by the gunfire.
In their report on the arrest, Daytona Beach Police said that Kirkland “…was clearly inebriated, shouting slurred profanities [and had] yellow, watery eyes.” Police say Kirkland was read his Miranda Rights but refused to make a statement. Daytona Beach Police say they also discovered that Kirkland was out on bond for three Violation of Probation charges. Kirkland was charged by Daytona Beach Police Wednesday with Robbery with a Firearm/Deadly Weapon, and Use/Display of a Firearm During a Felony Offense.
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