Two local suspects arrested in connection with Dec. 29 shooting at Ackerman Park

One turns himself in to Sheriff’s Office, while second man taken into custody in New York State

This graphic shows Kalvion Turner, who is was confined to the county jail, and Nyquan Priester, whom the Sheriff’s Office was seeking at the time the graphic was released. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a 20-year-old Sarasota man and a 20-year-old Bradenton man, both in connection with a fatal shooting at Ackerman Park on Dec. 29, 2021, the agency has announced.

Kalvion Jadarion Rishawn Turner, of 2827 Pershing Ave., has been charged with a count of Principal to Second Degree Murder with a Firearm, the Sheriff’s Office arrest record says.

He is being held in the Sarasota County Jail under $150,000 bond, that record notes, with arraignment set on Feb. 18.

Turner is listed as unemployed in the record.

Early this week, Sheriff’s Office personnel still were seeking a second suspect whom they believe to have fired the shots at the park, a news release pointed out. Nyquan Nathaniel Priester, 20, was described as approximately 5 feet, 3 inches tall, weighing 145 pounds, and having black hair and brown eyes, the release added.

Late in the afternoon of Jan. 20, the Sheriff’s Office announced that Priester had been arrested near Utica in upstate New York. His address in the probable cause affidavit was listed as 1116 58th Ave. Drive E. in Bradenton.

“Detectives worked in partnership with the agency’s Fugitive Apprehension Unit and members of United States Marshals Fugitive Task Force to locate Priester,” a news release explained. He has been charged with single counts of Second Degree Murder and Discharging a Firearm from a Vehicle Within 1,000 Feet of Any Person, the release noted.

Priester was awaiting extradition to Sarasota County to face his charges, the release added.

Witness statements have led detectives to believe that Turner convinced Priester to shoot at people in the park, the probable cause affidavit explains. However, those statements also indicated that Priester was aiming at a different person than the victim, Turner’s probable cause affidavit says.

Turner voluntarily went to the Sheriff’s Office headquarters on Cattleridge Boulevard in Sarasota and was taken into custody, that news release notes.

This aerial map shows the location of Ackerman Park, near Interstate 75 in the eastern part of the county. Image from Google Maps

Just before 11 p.m. on Dec. 29, 2021, deputies responded to a 911 call about gunshots at the park, which is located at 400 Apex Road in Sarasota, the news release points out.

According to witnesses, a “group of 40 to 50 people were gathered in the park when several shots were fired from the back seat of a vehicle in the parking lot,” the release adds.

“Bystanders discovered the victim on the ground with a single gunshot wound to his back and drove him away from the scene,” the release adds. “At the direction of the 911 call taker,” the probable cause affidavit says, the driver pulled over at the Fruitville Public Library, which stands at 100 Coburn Road, and awaited paramedics. After the paramedics arrived, the affidavit continues, they began treating the victim before pronouncing the person dead at 11:23 p.m. on Dec. 29.

This aerial map shows the proximity of the Fruitville Public Library to Ackerman Park. Image from Google Maps

Through their investigation, the affidavit explains, detectives learned that possibly six shots were fired from the rear passenger seat of a 2004 Hyundai XG350 registered to Cameille Homer-Cunningham, the affidavit notes. One of those shots struck the victim in the back, the document adds.

Witness statements provide a narrative

Detectives ultimately were able to identify all four occupants of the vehicle from which the shots were fired, the affidavit says. Sworn audio/video statements were obtained from two of those individuals, the affidavit adds: Homer-Cunningham and Sa’Tayvia Monix. They confirmed that Homer-Cunningham was driving, with Monix in the front passenger seat, Kalvion Turner in the rear passenger seat behind Homer-Cunningham, and Nyquan “PK” Priester seated behind Monix, the affidavit explains.

Homer-Cunningham and Monix told the detectives that Priester fired the shots, telling the others in the vehicle, “‘I’m fixin’ to air this b—h out. I’m fixin’ to shoot at people,’” just before he fired the weapon, the affidavit says.

Hours after the shooting, the affidavit continues, Turner came to the Sheriff’s Office with his attorney, Tamara Williams, to meet with detectives. Williams said Turner would not provide a statement other than asserting that he did not fire the weapon.

Turner did confirm that four occupants were in the vehicle at the time of the incident, the affidavit says.

Nonetheless, the affidavit continues, multiple witnesses who were in the park at the time of the incident told detectives that Turner was the shooter, “based on a known ‘beef’ between him and Zepharin ‘Zep’ Williams, who was at Ackerman Park in the immediate area where the victim was at the time of the shooting.”

The affidavit includes a text thread between one witness and Turner that began immediately after the shooting. The witness texted Turner, “Play too much,” to which Turner responded with “Laughing emojis,” the affidavit says. The witness then texted him, “Scared the s–t outta everyone,” to which Turner replied, “warning shots.”

“Kalvion was then told not to come back because someone got shot and Kalvion texted back, ‘Who got hit? Dat Wasn’t en me dat was my dawg dat let dem shots off,’” the affidavit adds.

Zepharin Williams also gave detectives a sworn statement, the affidavit continues: “He confirmed the prior ‘beef’” between himself and Turner, “but he assumed it was over. When ‘Zep’ saw Kalvion at Ackerman Park,” the affidavit points out, “‘Zep’ felt uncomfortable and kept an eye on him just in case there was still an issue. ‘Zep’ stated Kalvion was wearing a ‘fanny pack’ across his shoulder, kept his hand on it the whole time, and occasionally ‘patted’ it, which ‘Zep’ took as a threatening gesture,” the affidavit says.

“Through social media, ‘Zep’ was aware Kalvion was known to possess a firearm and [Williams] believed that is what was in the ‘fanny pack,’” the affidavit adds.

This is a view of the shoreline at Whitaker Gateway Park, which is located near the intersection of U.S. 41 and 14th Street in North Sarasota. Image courtesy City of Sarasota

Sworn statements from witnesses, video surveillance and further investigation “revealed that approximately 2 hours after the shooting,” Priester, Turner and Monix drove to Whitaker Gateway Park, which is located at 1455 N. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota, the affidavit continues.

Priester left the vehicle and “walked around the park adjacent to Sarasota Bay for approximately 10 minutes” before returning to the vehicle, the affidavit says. Although Monix told detectives that she did not see a gun, the affidavit points out, “she said she believed they drove to the park to discard the gun.”

The Sheriff’s Office Dive Team “conducted an extensive search of Sarasota Bay along Whitaker Park but the weapon was not located,” the affidavit adds.

The detective who signed the document wrote that, based on the investigation, the detective had “probable cause to believe Kalvion Turner had a conscious intent that the shooting would occur, and did some act or said some words to Nyquan Nathaniel Priester which were intended to cause, encourage, assist, or advise him to actually commit the crime.”

Prior charges against both men

In a search of 12th Judicial Circuit Court records, The Sarasota News Leader found only two other charges against Turner: an October 2020 count of running a stop sign and a February 2021 charge of Unknowingly Operating a Vehicle while Driver’s License Suspended/Canceled/Revoked.

The News Leader found the three cases involving Priester, with one count each of No Driver License; Resisting Officer-Obstruction without Violence; and Possession and/or Use of Narcotic Equipment (two scales used to weigh marijuana, according to a court document) — all dating to early 2020.

In the case involving resisting an officer, the probable cause affidavit says that officers “were summoned to the address” of 2700 Palmadelia Ave. In Sarasota in regard to a fight involving multiple people in a parking lot. Two of the individuals “took off running and a foot pursuit ensued ultimately leading to the arrest of [Priester].”

This graphic shows the location of 2700 Palmadelia Ave. in Sarasota. Image from Google Maps

The Sarasota Police Department handled that incident, the report says. In May 2020, Priester ended up entering a guilty plea to the misdemeanor count, and he was ordered to pay $223. A May 2021 document in the docket shows that he did not pay the fine and fees, so the total had grown to $323.

The case was sent to a collection agency for recovery of the funds, a court order shows.

Each court record includes a different address for Priester — one in North Port, one in Bradenton and one in Sarasota. The most recent document, dating to late March 2020, said Priester was living on 27th Street in Sarasota.

This map shows the location of 27th Street in Sarasota. Image from Google Maps