Three Springfield Shooting Suspects Charged with Murder

By: Bryan Anderson Email
By: Bryan Anderson Email

Labeled a drug deal gone wrong, three suspects were behind bars Sunday charged with murder. Springfield Police said they arrested Katari Jackson, 18 years old, Marquez Robinson, 18 years old, and Jerry Morris, 23 years old, overnight Saturday.

Investigators told NewsChannel 7 Jackson, Robinson, and Morris were on the buying end of the deal. Christopher Purswell, 19 years old, and Branden Junlakan, 22 years old, were said to be the sellers. Their products were marijuana and possibly synthetic marijuana.

Still unknown is why at some point during that transaction, Jackson and Morris reportedly opened fire injuring Junlakan and killing Purswell.

"We got to victim Purswell's telephone. We could see who was being talked to on the other end of the phone, and that led from one person, to another person, to another person," said Springfield Police Chief Phillip Thorne.

The fatal shooting came at a time when the war on synthetic drugs in Florida rages on.

"It's tragic that society has gotten that far down in the gutter because of drugs," Chief Thorne said.

But are the current laws enough? Maybe not. As it stands now, whenever law enforcement officials come across what they believe to be a synthetic drug, they first have to send it off to be tested before taking anyone into custody.

"If we don't arrest them at the immediate time, they get this false boldness that they can get away with it," Chief Thorne told NewsChannel 7's Bryan Anderson.

It just so happens Springfield Police officials said they pulled over Junlakan and another suspect, Jessie Morris, days prior to the incident. A routine traffic stop turned up what officers believed was synthetic marijuana, but they couldn't arrest the two that day which allowed the suspects to stay on the streets.

"If we charged them they could have very well made bond. We don't know," Thorne said.

The three suspects were being held without bond charged with murder among other charges. Investigators said Sunday they were still interviewing Jessie Morris.

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