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Arrest in shooting death. Police told that accused shooter was avenging an earlier robbery

In World
January 10, 2024

Ocala police officers have arrested a man who they say was the triggerman in a shooting that claimed the life of a young man last month.

Zy’wantre Si’cane Lester was taken into custody without incident on Tuesday in the 400 block of Southwest Martin Luther King Junior Avenue.

Police have been looking for Lester, whom they suspect of the Dec. 22 killing of 34-year-old McKenzie Lebron Rountree of Ocala.

The fatal shooting occurred a little more than an hour before another shooting less than a mile away. In that case, a man was shot in the leg. Detectives arrested the alleged shooter, Lamonte Ronnie Green, 19, of Ocala.

Both shootings occurred one day before officers say Albert James Shell, 39, gunned down David Nathaniel Barron, 40, at the Paddock Mall in a common area between Macy’s and the food court.

In Lester’s case, authorities said they received information on Lester’s whereabouts, went to the residence and picked him up. He was transported to the police department for questioning. Lester declined to talk to police.

He was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and taken to the Marion County Jail for booking.

Criminal record

The 23-year-old man has been in and out of jail and spent some time in prison.

Local court records show he was convicted of attempted manslaughter and sentenced in 2018. He was released March 1, 2022.

Lester has a pending charge of felony battery. In the year and a half since he has been out of prison, he has been charged with robbery with firearm, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and witness tampering.

For the robbery with a firearm and possession of a firearm offenses, Lester was acquitted. The state dropped the witness tampering charge because “there is not a substantial likelihood of conviction at jury trial,” according to a court filing.

What happened on Dec. 22?

With Roundtree’s death, detectives said officers were called to the 1900 block of Southwest First Street in reference to a shooting. When they arrived, they found Roundtree’s body in an empty lot known to be a hangout spot. Roundtree had been shot multiple times, officials said.

Law enforcement officials interviewed many people. They learned that, prior to the shooting, Roundtree had been accused of robbing one of Lester’s relatives.

On the night of the shooting, detectives were told there was an outdoor gathering attended by both Lester and Roundtree. The men reportedly argued and got into a physical altercation.

Roundtree ran and was chased by Lester. Officials were told Lester and Roundtree ended up in the vacant lot, where Lester shot Roundtree more than once.

Authorities said both men were armed. They found a handgun at the scene, but its owner is unknown.

Contact Austin L. Miller at [email protected]

This article originally appeared on Ocala Star-Banner: Arrest made in Ocala homicide case where body was found in empty lot

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