On Saturday, August 10, 2013 at approximately 1:15am, Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Deputies responded to the Santa Fe Bar, 23731 US Highway 441, High Springs, FL, in reference to a disturbance that resulted in two people being shot. Columbia County Deputies, along with High Springs Police Department responded to the scene and confirmed that two people had been shot and were deceased. The identities of the victim’s are Dennis Lamont Smith, 38 years of age, of Fort White, Florida and Erik Antonio Akins, 24 years old age, of Fort White, Florida.
Detectives with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, the State Attorney’s Office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office continued the investigation throughout the night.
Witnesses reported that soon after 1:00am on Saturday morning an altercation occurred in the parking lot of the Santa Fe Bar between Willie J. Wingfield III and the two victims, Dennis Lamont Smith and Erik Antonio Akins. Witness report that Willie J. Wingfield III shot Smith and Akins. Both Smith and Akins were pronounced as deceased on scene as a result of the gunshot wounds. Willie J. Wingfield the suspected shooter fled the scene prior to law enforcement’s arrival.
On Saturday, August 10, 2013, Detectives with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office were able to obtain an arrest warrant on Willie J. Wingfield III for two counts of Homicide.
On Sunday, August 11, 2013 at approximately 4:00pm Willie J. Wingfield III, was located at 1227 Leon Lane in Daytona, Florida and was subsequently taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals Florida Regional Task Force with the assistance of U.S. Marshals from Gainesville, Orlando and Jacksonville. Also assisting in the apprehension was a task force from the Gainesville Police Department, Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office. The arrest was made after investigative leads were developed throughout the two day long investigation. No one was injured during the arrest.
Sheriff Mark Hunter stated, “I am extremely proud of the efforts that went into this investigation, from all of the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office employees, citizens of Columbia County, and the multiple agencies that were able to assist in bringing this investigation to a close so quickly”.
The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office is asking that anyone who believes they may have additional information in reference to this investigation to contact the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Detective Division by calling the Columbia County Combined Communications at (386) 719-2005. Anonymous tips may also be made through Crime Stoppers of Columbia County by calling (386) 754-7099 or by submitting a web tip at http://www.columbiacrimestoppers.net/.
The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office booking photograph of Willie J. Wingfield III is attached below.