Man dies in shootout after killing 3 women, including his mother, deputies say (2024)

BRADENTON — Detectives with theManatee County Sheriff’s Officeare investigating a triple homicide that left three women dead inBradentonandPalmetto.

The sheriff’s office said the alleged shooter, 28-year-oldJavontee Brice, is also dead after a shootout with deputies inNorth Florida. Deputies say Brice shot and killed his mother, a cousin and the partner of an ex-girlfriend late Monday night.

Just before the killings began, Brice went toPalmetto Trace Apartments,where his sister and ex-girlfriend were,Manatee CountySheriffRick Wellssaid during a Tuesday morning news conference.

“He looked at the ex-girlfriend and said, ‘I have to kill you.’ Somehow, the sister was able to talk him down and talk him out of him shooting this ex-girlfriend,” Wells said.

Wells said the sister later told investigators that Brice “was acting very strange.” At one point while there, Wells said Brice asked if he could take a shower, which they declined.

In social media posts that had garnered thousands of likes, shares and comments on Facebook as of Tuesday morning, Brice appeared to post updates as he murdered his loved ones, according to the sheriff’s office.

After leaving thePalmettoapartments, Wells said Brice headed to a Motel 6 where his mother, her boyfriend and two little girls were staying.

Deputies with theManatee County Sheriff’s Officesaid they responded to a shooting Monday around9:15 p.m.at the Motel 6 at 660 67thSt. Circle E. inBradenton. When they arrived, deputies said they found a 48-year-old woman dead from a gunshot wound.

Witnesses told deputies that Brice came to the motel and shot his mother for unknown reasons and then fled the area, possibly heading toGeorgia, according to a news release.

“He walked into that hotel room, looked at the mother and said, ‘I’m sorry,’” Wells said.

“She asked, ‘What did you do?’ And he shoots her three times in front of the boyfriend and these two young juveniles,” Wells said.

At 9:40, deputies were dispatched to another shooting on the 900 block of 26th Street Court East inPalmetto, where they say a 29-year-old woman had been shot while sitting inside a parked SUV.

As deputies arrived, officers with thePalmetto Police Departmentwere attempting lifesaving measures, but the woman died about an hour later.

Man dies in shootout after killing 3 women, including his mother, deputies say (1)

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The sheriff’s office said witnesses again identified Brice as the shooter.

The victim, Wells said, was Brice’s cousin who was at thePalmettohouse for a cookout. Wells said Brice shot his cousin as she was getting into her car to leave.

While investigating those cases, deputies received information about another shooting shortly after10 p.m.inBradentonat4800 51st St. E.

As officers with theBradenton Police Departmentarrived, they said they learned that Brice shot an adult woman before fleeing the area. Police say this woman was taken toHCA Florida Blake Hospital, where she died from her injuries.

The woman, Wells said, was the new partner of an ex-girlfriend.

The Manatee County Sheriff’s Officeissued a statewide BOLO or “be on the lookout alert” for Brice’s vehicle.

The sheriff’s office said multiple law enforcement agencies were involved in tracking Brice toHamilton CountyinNorth Florida, near the state line.

Detectives said they learned Brice was traveling toGeorgiawith the intent to kill another person. This person, Wells said at Tuesday’s news conference, was possibly another ex-girlfriend.

At around1:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, deputies with theHamilton County Sheriff’s Officepulled Brice over, at which point Wells said Brice got out of the car and started firing at officers. Deputies shot and killed Brice in return fire, Wells said.

Deputies with theHamilton County Sheriff’s Officewere not injured during the shootout, according to Wells.

Wells said a woman was with Brice when he was pulled over and may have been with him during all of the alleged incidents. As of Tuesday morning’s news conference, Wells said she was still being interviewed by detectives.

“We don’t know her relation to him at this point, but she was in the car when the shootout took place,” Wells said.

Brice appeared to post to Facebook multiple times around the time the shootings happened Monday.

“Pig I love you but you had to go,” an account with the nameScoota Briceposted at10:05 p.m. Monday.

Several Facebook posts from people who say they knew Brice say that “Scoota” was a nickname he often used. Another Facebook post from Brice’s account told a woman he loved her but added “see you in hell.”

Wells said that Brice’s motive is still unknown. But Wells added that deputies are aware of the social media posts and said they will be “very important” in figuring Brice’s motive out.

“He seemed to have an agenda,” Wells said, adding that “he knew exactly who he wanted to kill and he did not have a hard time locating them.”

Wells said investigators will interview relatives to try to determine what Brice “may have been going through the last few days” and to see if they can determine a motive. He also said 911 calls and victims’ names will likely be released in time, but added that he wants to be sensitive to the families throughout the process.

“I just want to stress this family is devastated. This is going to be a very difficult thing for them to overcome,” Wells said.

Wells said the sheriff’s office will also review recent dispatch calls to see if there were any involving Brice that might give them any clues into his mindset leading up to the shootings.

“We don’t know what set this man off. We don’t know why he chose to kill his loved ones. We may never know, but we’re going to continue to investigate,” Wells said.

Multiple investigations are ongoing, according to the sheriff’s office.

Man dies in shootout after killing 3 women, including his mother, deputies say (2024)
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