Gulfport Woman's Death Linked to Love Triangle
Investigators have launched a manhunt to find the suspect in the shooting death of Destynee Burkes of Gulfport and a second shooting of a man in St. Pete.
Investigators are asking for the public's help in finding the suspect in the shooting death of Detynee Burkes, 24, of Gulfport and the shooting Monday of a St. Petersburg man at an apartment building.
In a press conference Tuesday, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office and St. Petersburg Police Department announced that Jamaal Jenkins is the suspect in both incidents.
Investigators said that Jenkins, Destynee Burkes and Tieyannie Hollis – the second shooting victim – were involved in a love triangle that turned violent.
On Jan. 7, Burkes was found shot to death, execution style, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.
Investigators said she had been shot in the back of the head at the La Quinta Inn, at 4999 34th St. N., in Lealman.
A week later, on Jan. 14, Hollis was shot multiple times, including in the head at the Mariners Pointe Apartments, 1175 Pinellas Point Drive S., St. Petersburg.
Hollis, 31, is in critical condition at Bayfront Medical Center but may not survive, according to investigators.
The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office and St. Petersburg Police Office held a joint press conference Tuesday, Jan. 15, to say that the shootings have a common suspect, 25-year-old Jenkins.
Investigators are asking the public for help. He is armed and considered dangerous.
"He’s a bad guy and he needs to get off the streets of St. Petersburg and Pinellas County," said Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri Tuesday. "This guy needs to get off the streets, and we need the public’s help."
Police are looking for Jenkins and the car he was last scene driving. The car is a silver 2012 Chrysler 200. The tag number may be K91 1WU, but Jenkins has switched tag numbers on the car before, investigators said.
Since 2003, Jenkins has been in and out of juvenile lockups and jail for various crimes, including auto theft, burglary, child abuse, fleeing police and multiple drug charges.
He is currently wanted for first-degree murder, aggravated battery and attempted murder.
"He’s made statements that he’s not going back to prison," Gualtieri said. "So it appears from what he said, he wants to go the hard way and that gives us great concern.''
Authorities are "very concerned about the officers and deputies that are going to have to take him into custody," Gualtieri added. "He is a guy who is significantly affecting public safety here in St. Pete and Pinellas County."
Gualtieri said Jenkins is a transient who has lived in and out of motels along 34th Street. Jenkins, police said, has family in St. Petersburg who "haven't provided any information that’s helped us," Gualtieri said. "We’ll continue to try and talk to them but they can do better."
Around 1:30 a.m. on Jan. 7, the Sheriff's Office's believes Jenkins shot Burkes in the back of the head, execution style, inside Room 120 at the La Quinta Inn.
From January - July 2012, Jenkins was in the Pinellas County Jail on drug charges. During this time, authorities said Burkes and Hollis became involved in a relationship
Gualtieri said on Dec. 26, Burkes and Jenkins were involved in an altercation in Pinellas Park about Burkes' relationship with Hollis. He said Jenkins allegedly rammed the back of Burkes' vehicle with his and pushed her into the intersection.
Burkes identified Jenkins to authorities as the suspect and a warrant went out for Jenkins' arrest for aggravated battery.
"He didn’t want to go back to prison," Gualtieri said. "She was the one that identified him in the Pinellas Park aggravated battery. He was looking at significant time in state prison ... I believe that is a significant reason why he did what he did."
Police arrived to the Mariners Pointe Apartments Monday and found Hollis shot in the head and multiple times in the torso at building 36.
Days before Hollis was shot, police had interviewed him about Jenkins and Burkes.
According to St. Pete Chief of Police Chuck Harmon, the department had been working with the Sheriff's Office prior to Hollis' shooting to help locate Jenkins because of his regular appearances at St. Pete motels on 34th Street.
"This is an individual (who is) a career criminal," Harmon said of Jenkins.
Hollis, Harmon said, is in critical condition at Bayfront but is not expected to survive his shooting wounds. His family has been notified.
Harmon said Tuesday during the press conference that he believes Hollis was stalked and targeted by Jenkins.
According to Harmon the two were involved in an altercation at a local park as recently as Jan. 6.
Police, Harmon said, are going through varying witness testimony as to exactly how the shooting occurred Monday. He did say Jenkins was alone in the Chrysler 200 Monday at the time of the shooting.