Crystal River man charged with attempted murder 5 days after prison release

Demare Barnes (CCSO mugshot on Oct. 6, 2020)

Citrus County Sheriff’s Office officials today arrested 32-year-old, Demare Barnes of Crystal River on attempted murder charges stemming from a shooting that occurred in the early morning hours this past weekend.

“Barnes is no stranger to violence; his extensive criminal history makes that evident,” said Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast. “Despite being sentenced in 2016 and serving four years in Union Correctional Institute, Barnes still posed a deadly threat to our community.

“I am so thankful the victim, in this case, was not harmed and CCSO professionals were able to rapidly capture this dangerous criminal for the safety of our citizens.”

On Oct. 4, the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) received a call in reference to a large physical disturbance at the Circle K convenience store located at 7985 N. Citrus Ave in Crystal River.  Responding deputies observed a crowd of approximately 60 to 80 people and heard the sound of gunshots as they arrived on scene.  Multiple physical altercations were ongoing as deputies attempted to gain control of the situation, identify potential victims, and locate possible suspects.

While dispersing the crowd, deputies saw multiple gunshot holes near the front portion of a truck.  Deputies quickly identified the owner of the truck and determined the victim was not injured during the shooting, despite the bullet holes being located near where the victim was seated. After securing the crime scene, deputies on scene began to ask witnesses for information to no avail.

Although there was a large crowd present during the incident, many witnesses were uncooperative. Shortly after, Detective Ramos with the CCSO’s Major Crimes Unit responded and began an investigation into the events leading up to this shooting.

During the course of his investigation, Detective Ramos was able to positively identify the suspect as Demare Barnes through a photo array. A criminal history check of the suspect revealed that Barnes’ had nine felony convictions from battery to fleeing/eluding law enforcement and was just released from prison on October 1st of this year.

Working quickly to get this threat off the streets, the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement, a warrant was issued for Barnes’ arrest.

Members of the CCSO’s Tactical Impact Unit along with personnel from the United States Marshall’s Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force were able to locate Barnes in Crystal River earlier today and take him into custody without further incident.

Barnes was arrested in reference to the warrant for attempted murder, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and for violation of probation.

He is currently being held at the Lecanto Jail on no bond.

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