ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A 21-year-old man in St. Petersburg is accused of shooting and killing two local mothers within days of each other earlier this year, according to police.
Tyron Jackasal was charged on April 7 for the murder of K’Mia Simmons, 21, who was shot on March 30 in front of her two young children. On Thursday, police announced Jackasal was also charged for the April 4 shooting of Emily Grot, 35.
"This has been a very violent year for Tyron Jackasal," said St. Petersburg Police Spokesperson, Yolanda Fernandez.
Grot was a St. Pete resident and a mother of two children.
Police have said both women were shot while they were in vehicles and neither was the intended target of Jackasal.
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Police said in a Thursday press release that Jackasal fire shots into the Wildwood Park parking lot during an informal gathering with several people. Grot was sitting inside a car when she was struck. A 17-year-old girl and a man were also shot at the time.
Jackasal is charged with second-degree murder for the death of Grot. He's also facing the same charge for the death of Simmons.
Police said Jackasal shot Simmons while she was in a vehicle at the intersection of 22nd Street and 18th Avenue. Her 1-year-old and 2-year-old children were in the vehicle.
"I just feel like you're shooting. You don't care who you hit. You don't care if you make your target, you're just proving a point," said Simmons' sister, Lashawn Laster.
Authorities said his intended target was Parise Lovett Jr. the father of one of Simmons' children. Police say Lovett was in the vehicle as well and ran from the scene.
In April, when police announced the arrest of Jackasal for Simmons' death, they said Lovett and Jackasal had a dispute over a stolen necklace. Lovett reportedly came forward in April with the information police needed to make an arrest.
Jackasal was charged with murder in the second degree Wednesday evening for the death of Grot. Jackasal was already in jail facing a robbery charge when he was charged for Simmons' murder in April.
Laster says the new charges against Jackasal come days after what would have been Simmons' 22nd birthday.
"It made it fresh again because her birthday was on Monday," she said, "She made me proud, even though it kills me that she's not here. I got to let her know that I'm proud of her."
And Laster says she has a message for Grot's family.
"Don't try to overdo it. Do whatever makes your heart feel good. If you gotta scream, scream. If you gotta cry, cry. If you wanna be alone, say 'I need a minute,'" she said.
Jackasal's next court date is set for Dec. 16.
St. Pete police say 2021 has been the most violent in the last decade. To date, they've had 28 homicides in the city.
And they say that the violence isn't always random, more often it's happening between people that know each other.