Flamingo: Scene of murder
By By Adam Prestridge
A night of partying at the Flamingo Terrace in Atmore turned deadly early Saturday morning when shots were fired during a brawl in the parking lot.
According to Maj. Mike Murphy with the Escambia County Sheriff's Department, 27-year-old Atmore resident Jeremie Jerome Hands was pronounced dead at Atmore Community Hospital following injuries sustained from a gunshot wound. A second gunshot victim, 29-year-old Cedric Fernando Leslie, also of Atmore, was also transported to Atmore Community Hospital in a privately owned vehicle by relatives. He was later transported to an out-of-county hospital and underwent surgery.
"Our initial investigation reveals that these two men had an argument in the bathroom and Jerome Hands shot Cedric Leslie in the jaw," Murphy said. "The confrontation then led outside into the parking lot. Leslie was taken to the hospital as a third participant shot Jerome Hands in the parking lot."
Charles McPherson, who lives across the street from the Flamingo Terrace on Terrace Street, said the shooting makes him feel uneasy.
"We all feel insecure," McPherson said. "There's not always problems there, but any time you've got a club like that, you can always look for something like this to happen."
The sheriff's office initially received a call to the Flamingo Terrace for a fight breaking out at 2:02 a.m. While en route to the club, which is located at 1351 Martin Luther King Drive, a second call was dispatched stating that the participants in the fight were in possession of firearms and shots had been fired.
McPherson said he did not here any shots fired, but others in the home did.
"My sister and nephew said they heard the shots," he said.
Within minutes, officers from the Atmore Police Department and the Poarch Police Department arrived on the scene and called for an ambulance to aid the gunshot victims. Murphy said deputies arrived at the scene as Hands was being loaded into the ambulance.
Murphy said it took some time for information to come forth, but the sheriff's office does have a suspect in connection with the homicide.
"We are actively looking for him and hope to have him in custody soon," Murphy said. "The case is still being investigated."
Murphy was unable to comment further about the murder because he doesn't want to "jeopardize" the case.
As for the of the fate of the Flamingo Terrace, neighbors like McPherson figure it will be shut down sooner or later.
"It's wide open when you have a club," McPherson said. "You can always expect people to act up. I figure they will probably close it down. I wouldn't doubt it."