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Gun Violence Leaves Two Local Men Dead at Grove Manor

Second Killing May Have Been Revenge, Reports Say

Two Lake Wales men were killed Sunday evening in a pair of shootings, and investigators are seeking reasons.

According to reports, the first victim was found in an apartment in the Grove Manor public housing complex around 8:00 pm Sunday suffering from a gunshot wound. Marquese Johnson, 23, was found by witnesses and transported to a local hospital where he died.

Witnesses reported that they had seen a man identified as Kendrick Akins leaving the apartment as they arrived, leading police to begin searching for him as a "person of interest."

Police received a tip shortly after 11:30 pm that Akins had been seen walking near Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Sessoms Avenue, only about two blocks from the scene of the first shooting. Detectives still on the scene of the first shooting then heard multiple gunshots and ran toward the sound, only to find Akins lying on a sidewalk. He had suffered multiple gunshot wounds. He died despite immediate life-saving efforts by officers and first responders.

Police report that the two men knew each other, and are attempting to determine the motivation for the shootings. They believe that the second shooting was carried out by unknown persons in retaliation for the first, leading some to believe that it may be "gang-related."

Heartland Crime Stoppers has offered a reward of $5,000.00 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the crimes. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Lake Wales Police Department at 863-678-4223, or dial **TIPS from a cell phone to reach Crime Stoppers. Anonymous tipsters are also eligible to receive the reward.


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