The Other McCain

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Quashawn, Rashan, and ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ in Polk County

Posted on | September 18, 2023 | Comments Off on Quashawn, Rashan, and ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ in Polk County

Say hello to Quashawn Burgess Jr. and, while you’re at it, you can go ahead and say good-bye, because Quashawn joined the choir invisible last week, bleeding out in the driveway of a Florida home:

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd called on the public for information after a 15-year-old who may have been a gang member was found shot dead Tuesday morning in a driveway near Winter Haven.
The sheriff said deputies received a 911 call around 2:30 a.m. after a boy was found dead on a driveway on St. Paul Drive.
Judd said one of the witnesses got off of work and was staying with a friend. She pulled into the home’s driveway on St. Paul Drive and called her friend to tell her there was a person lying in the driveway.
Judd identified the 15-year-old as Quashawn Burgess Jr. with permission from his mother to help with the investigation.
His mother went to bed at 10 p.m. with an infant, and Burgess was sitting on the couch. When she woke up at 3 a.m. to tend to the baby, she noticed Burgess was not on the couch and assumed he went to bed, according to Judd.
His mother said he was a good kid, but as he got older he went down the wrong path and began getting into trouble, Judd said. He was on probation for a burglary charge that was reduced to trespassing.
Judd said Burgess was violating his probation because he was supposed to be enrolled in school but wasn’t going. . . .
Burgess had been arrested twice, both since May 2023, Judd said.
“I’d rather them be alive in jail than across the street in the medical examiner’s office, dead like Quashawn is right now,” Judd said.
Judd said the violence is being encouraged by social media.
“They’re listening to this gangster rap, they’re watching these videos, they’re making their own videos,” he said. “It’s cool to do. It’s not cool to die. Death is forever. And cool warms up real quick in the morning. When the beer’s warm, it’s no more fun.”
Judd said it’s time for communities across the state and nation to step up and address the issue.
“They don’t show you the last chapter of the book,” Judd said. “The last chapter, one of you is dead, and the other is life in prison.”

Because he didn’t like going to school, Quashawn probably never read the Lemony Snicket books, A Series of Unfortunate Events. But there is an interesting and somewhat ironic narrative to how he reached that final chapter, bleeding out in a Winter Haven driveway:

Four suspects with criminal histories have been arrested in connection with the shooting death of a teenage gang member in Winter Haven.
According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the body of 15-year-old Quashawn Burgess, Jr., was discovered deceased around 2:30 a.m. on September 12, in a Winter Haven driveway by a woman who was on her way to spend the night at a friend’s house after work.
Deputies who canvassed the neighborhood say witnesses reported hearing a noise that sounded like a “pop” around 12:30 a.m. but thought it was fireworks.
When deputies notified Burgess’ mother of his death, she told them that she was unaware that he was not home sleeping during the evening hours. She said she saw him on her living room couch at 10:30 p.m. on Sept. 11 when she went to bed.
Sheriff Grady Judd gives an update after four suspects were arrested in connection with a 15-year-old found dead on a Winter Haven driveway.
When detectives arrived at her house, she went to his bedroom and confirmed he was not there and told them that she did not know when he had left or where he had gone.
According to Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, a series of events that led up to Burgess’ death began when Lilia Gonzalez, who is a convicted felon, contacted Jase Govia, 23, because she wanted to buy a gun. Since she is a convicted felon, she is not legally allowed to purchase a firearm. Govia lives across the street from Gonzalez in what, Sheriff Judd calls a “weed house” he runs with his cousin 34-year-old Pierre Sauveur.
Govia, according to Sheriff Judd, put Gonzalez in touch with 20-year-old Rashan Harris.
“He’s 20 years of age and he’s already got 53 felony charges against him, 25 misdemeanor charges against him and he’s been to jail,” Sheriff Judd shared. “He got one year in jail. So, we take him out of the ability to commit crime for one year and he still has 53 felonies.”
According to PCSO, Gonzalez and Harris met at a Circle K and he sold her a gun for $200 that had been stolen during a Lakeland burglary in which Harris was a suspect.
Later that evening, investigators say Harris called Gonzalez and told her he wanted to sell her more bullets. Though detectives say Gonzalez thought it was a strange request, she gave him her address.
Along the way, Harris picked up Burgess, who Sheriff Judd says wanted to buy marijuana from the “weed house” across the street.
“None of these people work. The 15-year-old is not in school. Every one of them lied about everything,” Sheriff Judd said.
According to Sheriff Judd, Burgess got out of the car and Gonzalez eventually got in the passenger side. Sheriff Judd says Harris and Gonzalez talked about bullets and sex while inside the car.
However, Sheriff Judd shared that while Gonzalez was talking to Harris, she felt like things didn’t seem right. Moments later, detectives say Burgess opened the passenger side door to rob Gonzalez at gunpoint.
According to PCSO, Gonzalez was holding onto her purse, which was strapped across her side body as Burgess is trying to pull her pocketbook off her.
“Apparently, they forgot they sold her this gun,” Sheriff Judd stated. “So, now Lillia pulls the gun out of her pocketbook because she’s being robbed at gunpoint and shoots Quashawn who’s robbing her. Did you hear what I said? You can’t make this stuff up.”
Sheriff Judd said after the shooting, Gonzalez ran into her home and Harris took off, leaving Burgess to die on the driveway.
Sheriff Judd added that Gonzalez fled the area for three days and was taken into custody when she returned.
Gonzalez told deputies that she was being robbed and was defending herself when she shot and killed Burgess.
“At this point in the investigation, she is apparently the victim of a robbery whereby she defended herself and shot the suspect, Quashawn and Rashon confirms that,” Sheriff Judd stated.
However, deputies arrested Gonzalez on several charges including possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, dealing in stolen property, tampering with evidence, grand theft of a firearm, possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, maintaining residence where controlled substances are illegally kept, possession of paraphernalia.
“When you live by the gun, you die by the gun,” Sheriff Judd stated.
Harris has been charged with second degree murder, attempted armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, dealing in stolen property, grand theft of a firearm, tampering with evidence, unlawful use of a two-way communication device, giving false info to a law enforcement officer during a capital felony investigation, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and violation of probation.
Govia has been charged with maintaining residence where controlled substances are illegally kept, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of marijuana over 20 grams, possession of paraphernalia.
Sauveur has been arrested for maintaining residence where controlled substances are illegally kept, giving false info to a law enforcement officer during a capital felony investigation, possession of marijuana over 20 grams, and possession of paraphernalia.
“These folks have been in prison,” Sheriff Judd explained. “They’ve been in the jail. They all have criminal histories. At the end of the day, we’ve got a 15-year-old kid that’s dead and mom said I’ve got a 15-year-old kid I can’t do anything with him.”

In case you weren’t following all that, Gonzales is a convicted felon, but wanted to buy a gun. So she asked her drug dealer, who hooked her up with Rashan, who had a pistol stolen in a burglary. After selling her this gun for $200, Rashan apparently got the idea of robbing Gonzales — because, hey, if she’s got $200 to buy a gun, probably she’s got a lot more money, right? And so Rashan arranges a meeting, telling Gonzales some kind of story about having more bullets for the gun. Rashan picks up Quashawn, and takes him to meet with Gonzales, so that Quashawn can rob her — but oops! She uses the gun that Rashan sold her to shoot his accomplice Quashawn. It’s just so . . . unfortunate.

Lemony Snicket could not be reached for comment.



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