The survivor of a triple homicide shooting last week near Town Center Mall appeared in court Tuesday morning.
Keyanta Bullard, 19, appeared before a Clay County judge for a probation violation. The judge ordered him to be held without bond.
Bullard, a Jacksonville rapper who goes by Yungeen Ace, turned himself in to authorities Saturday after being released from the hospital where he was being treated for multiple gunshot wounds.
Bullard appeared before the judge via a closed circuit TV camera from the lockup. Gone were his long dreadlocks. He's now sporting a closely cropped hairstyle. Bullard appeared to struggle to stand up when he was called to face the camera.
Bullard's attorney, David Haas, told First Coast News that authorities say the rapper violated his probation because he was seen holding a gun on camera at a Jacksonville gun store.
His attorney says Bullard is a victim and told us he suffered 8 gunshot wounds the night of the shooting near the St Johns Town Center.
“He leaned over to try to protect his friend in the driver seat, to try to save that person’s life and risking his own life and unfortunately he was unsuccessful in that,” the attorney said.
Bullard was on probation in connection to a past robbery, Haas said, adding that Bullard is a victim in this crime and he's being treated unfairly.
"He didn’t do anything with a gun, nobody got hurt by the gun that he had," Haas said. "He’s also not allowed to possess bullets but he’s got eight bullets in him right now.”
Haas said Saturday that his client should be in the hospital. Not jail.
“They’re trying to make the victim of the shooting somehow involved in the shooting and hold him responsible for it when all he did was try to save someone’s life," Haas said. "In this community, in the rap community the African-American community ... he raps, he says things people don’t like and the sheriff’s office doesn’t like that."
“I don’t think there’s any doubt that the sheriff has blamed both the music and the fact that there’s supposedly a gang for what’s gone on with my client’s arrest. I don’t think that there’s any information of who committed the offense, the actual shooting, so to call it a gang-on-gang shooting, we don’t know. All I know is that there is no gun on my client, he’s a victim of a shooting, an attempted murder of him and the murder of three others and instead of trying to foster a relationship with the African American community and encourage people to come forward, they’re putting my client in jail," Haas said.
Killed in the shooting were, Bullard's brother, Tre'von Bullard, 18, Royale D'Von Smith Jr., 18, and Jercoby Da'Shad Groover, 19. The only detail about the incident given by JSO, is a car pulled up and fired on the vehicle that the four men were sitting in.
Haas said he wants his client to have a bond so he can attend his brother's funeral.
JSO has not released any suspect information. There is an $8,000 reward for information in the case.
Call Crimestoppers 1-888-845-TIPS (8477).