Palmetto Police issue arrest warrant in connection to 2014 homicide

Palmetto Police are searching for Richardo Garcia, Jr. in connection with a 2014 homicide
Palmetto Police are searching for Richardo Garcia, Jr. in connection with a 2014 homicide(Palmetto Police Department)
Updated: Apr. 7, 2021 at 10:23 PM EDT
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PALMETTO, Fla. (WWSB) - The Palmetto Police Department has issued an arrest warrant in connection to a 2014 homicide.

On March 22, 2014, Javare Thomas, who was from Sarasota, was shot in the head while riding in the backseat of a sedan in Palmetto, according to police.

Thomas was a passenger in a friend’s vehicle that had just left The Hall nightclub in Palmetto. As the car traveled along Haban Boulevard toward U.S. 41, police said a black pickup truck pulled up next to them and the driver fired multiple shots into the sedan.

One of those shots hit Thomas in the head, according to police. His friends who were in the vehicle rushed him to Manatee Memorial Hospital, where he died from his injuries.

Palmetto Police Department investigators have spent several years investigating this case and announced on Wednesday that they have obtained an arrest warrant for Ricardo Garcia, Jr., 28, of Palmetto. Investigators found that just before the shooting, Garcia got into a fight with another individual at the nightclub.

Then, Garcia followed the individual as he left The Hall, in the direction of Haban Boulevard. Police said that Garcia caught up with the vehicle Thomas was in, mistook it as the vehicle he was following, and fired shots.

Detectives from the Palmetto Police Department, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, and the United States Marshall’s Service are looking for Garcia. When he is arrested, he will be charged with first-degree murder in the death of Thomas.

Palmetto investigators would still like to talk with anyone who has information on the case. Those who have information on Garcia’s whereabouts should contact the Palmetto Police Department at 941-721-2000 or Detective Joe Rogers at 941-920-3849.

Individuals can also contact the Manatee County Crime Stoppers at 1-866-634-TIPS (8477) or by clicking here. Those who contact Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward. The Palmetto Community Redevelopment Authority will also match any Crime Stoppers award.

Thomas would have been 34-years-old on April 18 this year.

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