Yesterday, the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office (ASO) announced a man was killed in a shooting in the area of 500 SW 69th Street, near Holly Heights apartments.
ASO officers received the calls shortly after 6 am and responded to find a man lying dead inside his vehicle.
Regional property manager Tonya Adams said the man killed was not a resident of Holly Heights. ASO had not disclosed any more information to Adams than what was publicly released; however, she did detail the ongoing problem with crime at the property and Alachua County's inability to solve the issue.
“I need help with the trespassers, the squatters, and the homeless that congregate on my property and cause issues with the tenants living here... They're breaking into my units. They're busting my glass. It's costing me outrageous amounts of money to get any repairs done.”
Adams disclosed that she has attempted to call the police on trespassers, but that they still ended up back on her property.
"A lot of the time when they are taken to jail, they're released within a couple of hours, and they're right back on my property. So it's just an ongoing circle. We need help, not only from ASO but from Alachua County in a general aspect… Number one: speed bumps; two: lighting. There needs to be a lot of lighting around the property. There are so many dark areas. We need speed signs; children are playing signs.”
Adams made it clear that she does not have anything against the homeless and works with programs like Grace Marketplace and Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) to try and get people off the streets.
“There is a guy named Bernie, and we take care of him. He is homeless, but he has never broken into my units. He's never caused issues on my property. He cleans our property. But then there are the homeless that run around and do nothing but drugs and break into my units. Those are the people that I'm having issues with. It doesn’t matter if I evict them. They don’t leave; they stay on the property. I have hired armed security on the property, almost 24 hours a day.”
Adams said she doesn’t think the county will step up and do something about the problem, citing the numerous criminal acts that happened on her property, which did not result in any arrests.
“I've had one of my buildings catch fire completely. Was anything done? Has anybody been arrested? No. I've had shootings on my property. Was anybody arrested? I've had drive-bys; anybody arrested? No. So yeah, that's a big problem. When you feel like you can go to a property and get away with everything, that's a problem. It's not fair that it's on the owners instead of getting help.”
ASO has asked anyone with information on this shooting to contact Detective Weitzel at 352-367-4161 or to call 352-372-7867 to remain anonymous.