Alleged sweet 16 shooter tied to Riviera Beach mayor

RIVIERA BEACH, FL (WFLX) - The suspect in the sweet sixteen birthday shooting made his first appearance at bond court Thursday morning. Now, we are learning more about how that suspect may be connected to an elected official.

Twenty-year-old Rijkard Jean-Baptiste is being held without bond after his first appearance in court.

Arrested early Thursday morning by Riviera Beach Police, Jean-Baptiste is charged with two counts of murder. He entered the courtroom in a wheelchair.

A probable cause affidavit says he was injured during the shooting at the sweet sixteen party at Newcomb Hall at the Riviera Beach Marina.

Two were killed and six were injured.

Riviera Beach Mayor Thomas Masters says Jean-Baptiste has been dating his granddaughter. He made this statement following the arrest: "I just want to continue to pray for my granddaughter. I know it will be tough for her and anyone else with connections to those involved, or allegedly involved, in the shooting."

Riviera Beach officials, including Masters, are organizing efforts to stop violence in the city.

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