The murder of Brenton Coleman Sr. occurred near the 13th Avenue Dream Center in August as hundreds gathered for a pee wee football practice watched. Gina Burney-Miller said not a day passes when she doesn't think about it.
"I mean it was horrible," she said through tears.
Bullets tore through her car. Her husband had to act like a human shield to keep her son, Jabarre, 8 years old at the time, from getting shot.
Now residents know more about the killing Coleman, as well as the details of a wide-ranging criminal conspiracy that federal prosecutors say included numerous murders.
U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley III announced on Thursday the unsealing of a 28-count indictment for six men accused in the conspiracy. Their charges include counts of racketeering, conspiracy involving murder, attempted murder and drug trafficking.
Charged were the following:
- Nathaniel Harris, 23, from Bradenton
- Napoleon Harris, 29, from Bradenton
- Charlie L. Green, 28, from Bradenton
- Jerry W. Green, Jr., 31, from Bradenton
- Corey Deonta Harris, 23, from St. Petersburg
- Deonte Jamal Martin, 28, from Bradenton.
According to court documents, the men operated a criminal enterprise. Between April 2007 and August 2013, nine people were shot and killed as a result of their criminal activity.
In addition to Coleman, the victims were:
- Christopher Jenkins
- Demetrious Cunningham
- Calvin Barnes
- Ceola Lazier
- Carlos Jurado
- Brenton Coleman
- Joseph Evans
- Rodney D. Lamb
- Erika Williams.
Coleman’s fatal shooting at a youth football practice struck fear in residents.
"My constituents were afraid to leave their children in street," said Palmetto City Commissioner Charles Smith.
"People were scared and that has been going on in Manatee County for a number of years. People were scared to come forward," said Manatee County Sheriff Brad Steube.
Residents welcomed news of the arrests.
"I feel safer," Smith said. "It couldn't have come at a better time."
"It was just a relief. I mean just, ‘God thank you.’ That's all I could say," Burney-Miller said. "I am so glad that they're caught. That will teach others that you can't get away with stuff. You will get caught."
Anyone with information relevant to this case is encouraged to call 1-888-ATF-TIPS (1-888-283-8477).