Man, woman arrested in shooting linked to drug deal

Published: May. 20, 2023 at 12:00 PM EDT
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A man and woman are being held without bond in a shooting linked to a drug deal that left a woman identified as the dealer paralyzed from the neck down, Riviera Beach police said.

Christopher Laray Lane Jr., of Lake Park, and Jazzmain Bush, of Palm Beach Gardens, both 23, were arrested Friday and face charges of attempted second-degree murder with a firearm, robbery with a firearm and shooting into an occupied vehicle.

During their court appearance Saturday morning, a judge denied them bonds and set their next hearing for 10:30 a.m. June 20.

Family members of the suspects and victim came face to face in court.

Police responded to the shooting on March 11 at 1:17 p.m. in the 1400 block of West 36th Street.

When officers arrived, they found the victim inside her car with two gunshot wounds, one to the base of her neck and another her right thigh.

She was later identified as Lauren St. Fort, 27, who was shot multiple times after spending time with friends and remains in St. Mary's Medical Center on a ventilator. An event called Wear Orange to end Gun Violence took place April 22 in West Palm Beach to raise money for her. A GoFundMe page has been establish to assist with her expenses with $13,845 raised so far of the $250,000 goal.

Until Friday, Riviera Beach police hadn't released details in the shooting.

Lauren St. Fort was found in the driver's seat of a white 2004 4-door Honda Accord. An iPhone was found with her.

Several witnesses declined to give a sworn recorded interview but gave information to investigators.

They said a man wearing a white shirt, shorts and sandals was standing on the south side sidewalk between 1449 and 1441 West 36th Street. Witnesses stated that the suspect appeared to be speaking with someone on his cellphone and sending text messages.

Later, the victim's vehicle was seen approaching the area, and the suspect waved his hands in the air to get the victim's attention, according to the witnesses. The victim pulled directly up to the suspect, and within seconds, the suspect was heard screaming, "give me that" while simultaneously forcing his way into the victim's vehicle through the front driver's side.

The witnesses heard several gunshots, and the suspect was seen fleeing south on foot toward West 35th Street.

Investigators obtained surveillance from a residence and later obtained information from the victim's cellphone.

Two weeks later, investigators were able to identify the suspects as Bush and Lane.

On April 5, a detective received an anonymous tip regarding that a male known Chris was responsible for shooting. The report said: "According to the tipster, Chris openly stated that the victim was a Percocet dealer and that Chris used to purchase pills from her.

"Chris stated he does not have a dollar to his name. According to Chris, he shot the victim in her leg, at which time she said 'for real' and then began reaching for something, at which point Chris stated he shot her in the neck/face area," according to the arrest report."

The tipster said three people were involved in case: the male shooter, a woman being the getaway driver and who set up the drug deal between Chris and the victim, and a third unknown individual who supplied the firearm.

The tipster gave descriptive details of the suspects.

On April 20, detectives were conducting surveillance at the Hampton Court Apartments located at 4761 N. Australian Ave. in West Palm Beach. They found a 2015 black Honda Accord registered to Bush, which was used during the shooting that occurred.

Assisting units conducted a felony traffic stop in the 1100 block of West Blue Heron Boulevard.

A forensics report indicates the fingerprints lifted from the victim's front driver's side door were identified as belonging to Lane.

In an interview, he told investigators he did not know and had never seen her before.

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