Detectives have charged a suspect in the fatal shooting of a 30-year-old man who died about two blocks from G.D. Rogers Garden-Bullock Elementary School.
At 6:17 a.m. Thursday, police were called to the 1100 block of Fifth Street West in Bradenton.
“There was a report of shots fired,” Capt. William Fowler said. “Officers arrived on scene and found the victim.”
The victim, later identified as Dequan Randolph, was found with a gunshot wound to the neck. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
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Detectives were able to quickly identify a suspect, Derrick Bernard Frazier, 32. They issued an alert for him and the Ford pickup he was driving.
Police allege Frazier shot Randolph during an argument.
Before 9 a.m., authorities located Frazier in the 400 block of First Street West, and he was taken into custody. Frazier was charged Thursday with second-degree murder and booked into the Manatee County jail, where he was being held without bond.
Many who knew Randolph, including his wife and mother, gathered at the crime scene to watch as investigators processed evidence.
Ammie Houston said her son, the eldest of six, was very outgoing and that the crowd gathered at the scene was a testament to his character.
“There was nothing he wouldn’t do for anyone,” Houston said pausing mid-sentence, unable to hold back her sobs. “He would take the shirt off his back.”
The victim’s wife, Rosemary Randolph, echoed her mother-in-law’s thoughts, saying that Randolph would not hesitate to get out of bed and go help someone whose car had broken down, no matter what time it was.
“He doesn’t deserve this,” Houston sobbed. “He did not deserve this.”
Both women say he was a family man with five children and a stepchild that he raised as his own.
Randolph recalled how their daughter called him “Caddy Daddy” because he loved Cadillacs, so much that he had put a Cadillac emblem on her stroller. She smiled as she shared the memory but then broke down in tears.
Frazier is no stranger to local law enforcement. His criminal history includes arrests for charges of domestic battery by strangulation, contempt of court, multiple counts of possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine with intent to sell, domestic battery, sale or delivery of cocaine, possession of cocaine, possession of a controlled substance and driving with a suspended license.
Morning school traffic and routines were not heavily affected by the police presence, district spokesman Mike Barber said. Because of the incident’s close proximity to the school, some students may be aware of what happened or may know those involved. The district has a grief team on hand at the school in case students need to talk with someone.
Anyone with any information regarding the case can call Bradenton Police Department Detective James Curulla at 941-747-3011, ext. 2224. To remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000, call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-634-8477 (TIPS) or send an anonymous E-Tip through to manateecrimestoppers.com.