HomeBCSODowntown Melbourne shooters had 21 felonies - arrests finally made

Downtown Melbourne shooters had 21 felonies – arrests finally made

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From the Melbourne Police Department:


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On May 6th, 2023, at 1:23 a.m., Melbourne Police Officers responded to the 800 block of E. New Haven Ave. in reference to a shooting. The downtown nightclubs were open and there were many people in the area. A fight broke out in the street which led to unknown person(s) shooting at each other. As officers arrived on the scene, they encountered a large crowd and located a crime scene, however, no victims were located. A short
time later, officers were dispatched to Holmes Regional Medical Center as three males with gunshot injuries were brought there for medical treatment.

As officers converged on the hospital, a car dropping off one victim was stopped by the police; however, two males inside the car, who were not injured, fled on foot. Officers gave chase and were able to arrest them both for resisting an officer. Other than dropping off a victim at the hospital, it is unclear at this time as to the extent of their involvement in the shooting.

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Numerous people have been interviewed; however, a suspect(s) has not been identified. Of the three victims, two are in critical condition and one is noncritical.


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Following an extensive investigation, MPD detectives determined that adult male Nathaniel Spates Jr. (04/21/87) perpetrated the shooting of two victims, gravely injuring them, and also fired his gun in the direction of a third victim nearly striking them after a verbal dispute on the morning of May 6th, 2023. As Spates was fleeing the scene, he was also struck by return gunfire and gravely wounded by another involved individual. Spates is a 4-time convicted felon having been convicted of numerous felony crimes, and he is prohibited from carrying a firearm.

The investigation also determined that in addition to Spates being the primary shooting suspect in this case, Deonte Markese Jones (01/28/96) was found to be carrying a handgun following the exchange of gunfire. Jones is a 17-time convicted felon having been convicted of numerous felony crimes, and he is prohibited from carrying a firearm.

Detectives subsequently developed probable cause to charge both subjects and arrest warrants were drafted for the two men. With assistance from the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office GAMEOVER Task Force, Nathaniel Spates Jr. and Deonte Markese Jones were both apprehended without incident, on June 20th and June 29th, respectively.

Four firearms were recovered in the course of this investigation. Additional investigation into the incident continues, and anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Melbourne Police Department.

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