GAINESVILLE ‒ Ny’trell Eugene Perry, 23, was arrested on Oct. 20 and charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon following an investigation into the shooting death of Michael Reed, Jr., on May 1. The shooting occurred at the Southwest Downtown Parking Garage in Gainesville. Perry was charged with swinging at a man from Ocala with his gun, at which point the gun accidentally went off. A few minutes later that man reportedly saw Perry pointing a gun at him and fired in self-defense, killing Reed.
The altercation began just before 2 a.m. on May 1 when a group of four men from Hawthorne and Gainesville got into a verbal fight with a group of four people from Ocala. Tensions escalated while two members of the Ocala group smoked cigarettes before getting into the car to leave; the owner of the car, which was reportedly new, would not let them smoke in the car, so the group waited for them to finish smoking while both groups were yelling back and forth.
Micah Sexton of Ocala, reportedly fearing that the verbal sparring could escalate, retrieved his gun from under the seat in the car and put it into his pocket, although he did not have a concealed carry permit.
Reed had gone to a different floor of the parking garage during the altercation, but another member of the Hawthorne group called him, and video surveillance reportedly shows Reed quickly running down the stairs to join the rest of the Hawthorne group. After he arrived, the four men reportedly walked toward the Ocala group’s car. Video surveillance reportedly shows Perry with his hand hovering over his left hip while they walk toward the car.
Video surveillance reportedly shows Sexton putting his hands up as the other men approach. His hands appear to be empty. Video also reportedly shows one of the Hawthorne men, Marvin Zackary King, hitting one of the Ocala men with a “sucker punch,” causing his head to snap back quickly. The groups began fighting at that point.
Video reportedly shows Perry raising a Glock 19 with a 30-round extended magazine, then swinging the gun toward Sexton. The gun fired accidentally and the bullet struck the wall behind Sexton. Perry’s gun reportedly malfunctioned at that point, making it inoperable.
Sexton reportedly took his gun out of his pocket and looked for the source of the gunshot. Perry reportedly saw Sexton holding his gun, then raised his gun and pulled the trigger, allegedly attempting to shoot Sexton, but the gun did not fire. Sexton reportedly reacted in self-defense by shooting at Perry, but the bullet hit Reed in the chest. Reed later died from the gunshot wound.
After the gunshot, the parties sought cover behind cars. Perry then reportedly ran down to a lower floor of the parking garage, where he met up with the other two members of his group. According to an account from one of those men, Perry did not tell either of the men that he saw Reed dying on the ground.
King, the man who delivered the “sucker punch,” was charged with simple battery via sworn complaint in May, but the charge was later dropped.
Sexton was charged with carrying a concealed firearm without a permit via sworn complaint in May, but that charge was also dropped.
Perry has a juvenile criminal history.
Judge Thomas Jaworski set bail at $50,000, with a requirement for a GPS monitor.
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