Mother of Ocala nightclub shooting victim speaks

FOX 35 News at 10 p.m.

- More than a month after the deadly shooting at an Ocala nightclub left one dead and five others injured, a memorial still stands right outside the front door.  It sits just steps away from the entrance to Cloud 9 Nightclub, where 19-year-old Benetria Robinson died on the evening of Sept. 13.  For the first time, on Tuesday, Benetria's mother and one of the surviving victims spoke about the tragic incident. 

"It has been really hard. Some days I grieve, some days I don't,” said Katina Robsinson, who thinks about her baby girl every day.  “It's really been hard for the family and I."

Three people have now been arrested in connection the shootings.  Michael Eugene Smith and Gary Edward King, both from Ocala, were arrested on Monday, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.  Each face charges including second-degree homicide and second-degree attempted homicide. Laquan Barrow, also from Ocala, who was already in jail in connection with Robinson's death, was slapped with four more charges of attempted second degree murder.

"I feel really great about the arrests,” said Robinson. “I saw my daughter on TV this morning, and it really shook me up and brought tears to my eyes."

Twenty-one shots were fired in just five seconds according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement .  In the Marion County Sheriff's Office arrest affidavits, those shots came from three separate guns.  Ocala police  officers were  the first on scene after responding from a traffic stop hundreds of yards away, said the report.

As the investigation unfolds, there may be a possible motive, said Lauren Lettelier, with the Marion County Sheriff's Office.  "It was a fight between one of the victims, who is still recovering at this time, and between Barrow, we believe. And, that Smith and King backed him up, that's what it looks like at this time."  She added, "This type of violence will not be tolerated in Marion County. It's not something we will tolerate. We're going to crack down hard on these crimes."

Dontarious Bartley,19, is one of the five people who were shot that night.  He survived. He said he was there hanging out with friends on the night of September 13, when he heard “people start shooting.”  He said he doesn't really know the others who were hurt.  "I turn around and end up getting shot,” Bartley told Fox 35.  “That's how it was."

He showed his scar on his back where the bullet went in, and a large scar on his stomach.  "It's tragic, you feel me?" Bartley said.

Of the victims involved in the shooting, Lettelier said, "They were innocent victims. We wanted to make sure they have justice, because just standing there outside of a nightclub, you should not have the expectation of being shot."

According to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Smith has a criminal history including possession of a firearm by a felon.  Meanwhile, Benetria's mother said she will be staying close with family for the time being.

Lt. Ryan Robbins, with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, said in a statement, “Since the night of the deadly shooting at the Cloud 9 nightclub on September 13th, 2015, detectives wit the Marion County Sheriff’s Office Bureau of Special Investigations have been working tirelessly to bring justice to the victims and their families involved in this senseless crime.”

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