Three men from Alabama have been arrested and charged in the Jan. 3 slaying of a Polk City man, a case the Polk County Sheriff said started with a Hurricane Irma damage estimate.
- William Reiss shot, killed on Jan. 3; another man injured
- 3 suspects have been taken into custody, face several charges
- At least 20 guns stolen from victims, 'sold on streets'
- PREVIOUS: Guns stolen during robbery, murder
Sheriff Grady Judd said Wednesday that Kenley Campbell and Darril Lamar Rankin Jr., both 22, and Gerjuan Demarcus Jackson, 18, all from Mobile, are in custody.
They were charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of William Reiss and attempted first-degree murder in the shooting of Kenneth Maier, who is still hospitalized. The suspects were also charged with armed burglary and grand theft, among other counts.
Judd said Jackson met Reiss while doing a hurricane estimate damage at his home last year. According to Judd, Jackson returned to the home two weeks after the damage assessment and purchased two handguns from Reiss's large collection.
Campbell, Rankin and Jackson then drove to the Berkley Road home on Jan. 3 and, according to Judd, "Jackson admitted he fired several gun shots at Reiss and at Maier."
Reiss was shot in the head four times, Judd said.
Reiss' gun collection and a flat-screen television were removed from the home and placed in Campbell's vehicle and Reiss' Dodge truck, according to the sheriff.
When they returned to Alabama, Jackson took the victim's truck to a wooded area and set it on fire, Judd said.
Judd said Jackson admitted that about 20-25 firearms were taken from the victim's residence and that many were "sold on the streets."
"Three killers traveled to Polk City all the way from Mobile, Alabama to steal firearms," Judd said. "William Reiss was shot and murdered, and Kenneth Maier was shot and left for death. Maier is currently in the hospital fighting for his life. I can't begin to say how disgusted we are at the depravity displayed by these men."
The suspects were booked into the Mobile County Metro Jail without incident and will be extradited to Polk County at a later date. The investigation is ongoing and further charges may be filed.
Judd thanked authorities in Mobile for their assistance in the investigation and the arrests. He also thanked the State Attorney's Office for working around the clock with them on the investigation, and the U.S. Marshals Service for their help in tracking Jackson down.
Reiss's daughter, Katrina Urso, said the new information provided her some comfort and relief.
“To be honest, it makes more sense," Urso said. "Because, I'm like, he’s a smart man. He’s not just going to let anyone in his house. He’s not going to let a stranger ... 'Here, come look at my guns.' He wouldn't do that. So, it kind've makes me feel a little better to know that piece of the puzzle, it wasn’t him."
"It's hurtful," Urso concluded. "There's bad people in the world. Not everyone is bad."