Crime

Palmetto High senior wanted on murder charge

Da’Quan Gaskin
Da’Quan Gaskin

Detectives are searching for a Palmetto High School senior charged with Sunday’s night fatal shooting of another teen.

Da’Quan Lavonte Gaskin, 18, is wanted in the connection to the fatal shooting of Alexander Anderson, 18, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office. On Thursday, detectives obtained a warrant signed by a judge charging Gaskin with second-degree murder.

Gaskin is said to be about 5-feet-10 inches tall, has a thin build, short hair and a nose piercing.

At about 11:40 p.m. Sunday, Anderson was spotted by a motorist driving in the 2000 block of First Avenue East lying on the east side of the road in a pool of blood. Anderson had been shot several times in his upper body, according to investigators.

The teen lived only two blocks from where he was found dead.

The fatal shooting has since been under investigation by the Manatee Homicide Investigative Unit.

At the time he was murdered, Anderson had a warrant out for his arrest charging him with aggravated battery, and he was a suspect in multiple armed robberies.

Anderson — who last attended school in December 2014 at the Horizons Academy alternative school when he was 16 years old — had faced criminal charges before. On Dec. 23, 2014, Anderson was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm and carrying a concealed weapon.

The charges were dropped, after the state attorney’s office decided not to prosecute.

Despite having a troubled past, Anderson’s aunt , Joyce Randall, remembered him as the “angel” she has raised, she told the Bradenton Herald on Tuesday. She remembered his smile and laughter, and his ability to make others laugh, she said.

Randall was also hoping for justice in his death.

One teacher at Horizons — who chose not to be identified — reached out to the Bradenton Herald and expressed condolences for the family, having taught Anderson when he was in middle school.

“He was a likable boy, despite his problems,” the teacher wrote. “I’ve seen this violence happen to too many young people in this area, many of them former students. Alex’s cousins are students here at Horizons at the present, so I hope for closure for his family.”

Anyone with any information can call the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office at 941-747-3011, ext. 2519. Or to remain anonymous and be possibly eligible for a reward of up to $3,000, call Manatee Crime Stoppers at 866-634-8477 (TIPS) or submit an e-tip online at manateecrimestoppers.com.

Jessica De Leon: 941-745-7049, @JDeLeon1012

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