Social media posts showing fists full of cash may have sparked the violent Spring Hill home invasion that left one woman dead, another woman wounded, and three men charged with murder.
“Going forward, individuals need to know what they put on social media can attract criminal activity, particularly when they’re involved in a high risk lifestyle,” Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis said during an Oct. 13 press event in Brooksville.
The incident began at 4:47 a.m. on Oct. 11 when deputies responded to a report of a shooting on Marquette Street in Spring Hill.
“According to our 9-1-1- notes, there was a lot of confusion in the house—yelling and screaming—and it was very difficult in the first minutes to figure out what was going on,” Nienhuis said.
A Hernando County Fire Rescue (HCFR) crew joined deputies at the scene, where they found that two adults had sustained gunshot wounds.
“Victim one was pronounced deceased at the scene,” Nienhuis said. “Victim number two – also an adult female – had some pretty significant gunshot wounds to her extremities.”
The second woman was treated at the scene and then taken to an area hospital for further treatment. Nienhuis did not comment on her current condition.
At least one adult and three children under the age of 10 were also in the house at the time of the incident. None of the three children were injured in the incident. “So it was a pretty horrific event for (the children),” Nienhuis said.
The preliminary investigation revealed that the first victim was in a bedroom engaging in sexual relations with a man, later identified as 22-year-old Jazier Martinez. “We found out later that that sexual act was prearranged and it was in exchange for money,” Nienhuis said.
An altercation ensued after Martinez attempted to rob her.
The second woman and another adult family member heard the ruckus and forcibly entered the bedroom. At the same time, two other men, identified as 20-year-old Dawson Deskins and Landen Runyon, 19, were waiting outside and forced their way into the house and into the bedroom.
“Ironically enough, (Runyon) was celebrating his 19th birthday,” Nienhuis said.
According to Nienhuis, the two women began “fighting back” in response to the robber attempt, the woman who was killed retrieved a firearm and an exchange of gunfire took place.
“There is some talk that the male who was (originally) in the house may have had a firearm as well,” he said. “But we know for sure that at least one, if not both, of the (men) who busted down the door for the home invasion – they were armed.”
In fact, investigators did not know that the woman who died was even in possession of a firearm until they discovered it underneath her body. Meanwhile, tipsters told them that the woman had wounded the two intruders before she died.
In fact, detectives did find that Runyon had sustained a gunshot wound to his face. According to Nienhuis, when they caught up with him, detectives said that because of the facial swelling, Runyon was almost unrecognizable.
Tipsters also told investigators that Deskins, who fled to the home of a family member in Kentucky, had sustained “a pretty significant” gunshot wound to his stomach.
“When he got to Kentucky, I understand that the family member took him directly to the hospital, where he was treated for that gunshot wound,” Nienhuis said. “He is in the custody of authorities in Kentucky now.”
Finally, detectives caught up with Martinez near his residence. “Of the two victims and the three suspects, he was the only one who did not receive any gunshot wounds in this melee,” Nienhuis said.
The HCSO arrested Martinez and charged him with being principal to murder in the first degree, principal to attempted murder in the first degree, and possession and discharge of a firearm causing great bodily harm.
Nienhuis said that Deskins, who is believed to be the first to break into the house, and Runyon were each charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, and shooting at or within a building.
Even so, the investigation into the case is far from over. “To say that this case is finished is an understatement,” Nienhuis said. “To say the least, this is going to go on for weeks.”
The ongoing investigation includes obtaining warrants for a white sport utility vehicle (SUV), the vehicle Martinez, Deskins and Runyon drove to and from the shooting scene.
“Detectives have seized the vehicle that was used and we are in the process of getting warrants to examine (it) to get more evidence,” Nienhuis said.
The case remains pending.