Man arrested in shooting at Alabama high school football game played quarterback at First Coast High


A man arrested Thursday in St. Johns County in connection with a shooting last fall at an Alabama football stadium had prior ties to northeast Florida, News4JAX has learned.

After reporting that 20-year-old Hezekiah Belfon was arrested in the St. Augustine area, News4JAX received a tip that he was a quarterback at First Coast High School. On Friday afternoon, News4JAX was able to confirm that he had played for First Coast High for one season.

First Coast High officials say they are not authorized to comment on Belfon because he is a suspect in an ongoing criminal investigation. But according to sources within the school who knew Belfon, he moved to Florida in 2019 and attended First Coast High during the fall semester when he played backup quarterback for the Buccaneers. Sources say he returned to Alabama the following semester. They also say he seemed like a good boy.

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Belfon was booked shortly before 11:30 a.m. Thursday into the St. Johns County jail, according to jail records.

He is suspected in an Oct. 15 shooting at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama — where thousands of people were gathered for a high school football game, according to the Mobile Police Department.

Police say five people – two adults and three teenagers – were shot and injured.

Shortly after the shooting, police said a 19-year-old had been arrested on five counts of attempted murder, but they were still looking for Belfon, who has five arrest warrants charging him with attempted murder. murder.

Police later said a 17-year-old was also arrested in connection with the shooting and charged as an adult with five counts of attempted murder.

Mobile Police Chief Paul Prine spoke at a press conference on Thursday afternoon. He said Belfon had been on the run for five months and was considered armed and dangerous. The police department said it even put Belfon on its most wanted list because it believed he posed a threat to public safety. But Prine said Belfon’s capture in Florida gives the police department a sigh of relief.

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“This is a huge win for the police department and certainly for the community,” Prine said. “He was a threat to the community, and while we didn’t catch him here in Mobile, if he was a threat here, he was definitely a threat to the community he was in.”

The process has already begun to extradite Belfon to Alabama.

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