Man charged with murder in Crystal River slaying

Home » Man charged with murder in Crystal River slaying
David Lemon Jr.

Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) deputies today, along with the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force, arrested 26-year-old David Jerome Lemon Jr. of Crystal River on charges of Premeditated Murder, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon and Shooting into an Occupied Vehicle.

“This violent crime has affected not only the victim’s family but our entire community, robbing both of their sense of safety and security,” said Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast.

“Lemon’s actions resulted in the death of a young man and proved he is a danger to society. I hope his arrest helps to provide a sense of closure and justice for the victim’s family. Citrus County is certainly a safer place today thanks to the detectives’ diligent work to keep Lemon behind bars,” Sheriff Prendergast said.

On Feb. 20 of last year, CCSO deputies responded to a shooting that had just occurred in the Copeland Park neighborhood of Crystal River. A witness to the incident transported 26-year-old Tyler Hopkins, who had just been shot, to a local hospital.

Tyler, unfortunately, succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased by the attending physicians. Detectives Laborda and Ramos with CCSO’s Major Crimes Unit (MCU) immediately began an intensive investigation, interviewing numerous witnesses and examining various types of evidence collected from the scene.

During their investigation,  David Lemon Jr. was identified as a person of interest in the fatal shooting.

Initially, investigators obtained probable cause for Lemon on a charge of possession of ammunition by a convicted felon and secured a warrant for his arrest. When law enforcement officials attempted to locate Lemon, it was discovered he had already fled the area.

While the investigation into the homicide of Hopkins continued, so did the search for Lemon. Finally, on Oct 15, 2020, members of the CCSO Tactical Impact Unit (TIU) and the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force located Lemon and took him into custody for the active warrant.

Nearly four months after this arrest, Lemon was released on Tuesday from the Citrus County Jail on a $50,000.00 bond. However, Lemon’s freedom would be short-lived.

As a result of the continued efforts by detectives to examine additional evidence and pursue all leads, an arrest warrant was issued for Lemon on the morning of Feb. 4, for the murder of Tyler Hopkins.

Only hours after the warrant was issued, CCSO personnel along with the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force, made contact with Lemon at a residence in Citrus Springs. Lemon was taken into custody and transported to the Citrus County Detention Facility.

He is being held without bond per the warrant.