SEBRING — To date, Sebring police have not made an arrest in the April 23 shooting death of 29-year-old Calvin Lamont Brown Jr. of Arcadia.
His father hopes he can spur some witnesses to come forward with some reward money: $3,000 for anyone who can provide information leading to an arrest.
“I want justice served,” Calvin Brown Sr. said on a phone call from the road in Michigan, as a long-haul trucker.
Brown Sr. wanted to get his son trained as a trucker, and said Brown Jr. had expressed an interest in getting a steady job as a trucker and becoming a steady father to his own two children.
“A changed mind is the strongest thing you could ever have,” Brown Sr. said.
Brown Jr. had recently been released from prison, on March 1, from a July 2017 four-year sentence for selling and manufacturing marijuana, fleeing law enforcement and driving with a knowingly suspended license.
The shooting took place at about 10:55 p.m. April 23 near the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Lemon Avenue in Sebring. Brown Jr. was pronounced dead in an ambulance en route to Highlands Regional Medical Center.
At first, Brown Sr. worried his son had gone there to do something illegal. However, the next morning, Sebring Police Department Cmdr. Curtis Hart reported that Brown Jr. was possibly visiting a girlfriend in the area, not doing anything illegal.
Brown Sr. said his son knew the errors of his past mistakes.
“He was ready to make change in his life,” Brown Sr. said. “It was one day too late.”
Brown Sr. suspects gang activity — teenagers from 14-17 committing heinous crimes to imitate big city gangs and in bad need of father figures. However, police have not given any indication that that is the case with this shooting.
Hart said, while that is a possibility, he and his detectives don’t know if they are dealing with that in this case.
Brown Jr.’s death was the second shooting in a three-day period in late April.
Brown Sr. laments that, as an over-the-road trucker, he can’t be present now to help seek information in the case. Offering a reward is something he can do, however.
He believes the amount will be high enough for somebody to talk.
“Any help we can get would be appreciated,” Hart said, noting Brown Sr.’s reward offer. “We hope that will help.”
Hart has asked anyone with information to call Detective Stephen Williams at Sebring Police Department, 863-471-5108.
People can supply tips through Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-866-226-8477, and may qualify for a cash reward there.