FEMA subcontractor, two friends arrested in 'horrific' Polk City murder

Sheriff Grady Judd says the murder suspect worked as a FEMA subcontractor.

POLK CITY, Fla. -- Sheriff Grady Judd made the announcement of an arrest just a week following a 'horrific' murder in Polk City.

Three people were flagged down by a man "bleeding profusely" on the 7400 block of Berkley Road at around 1:45 p.m., who said he was robbed and that someone else was hurt inside the home, Judd said.

68-year-old William Reiss was discovered dead at the scene. 

Pictured: 68-year-old William Reiss was shot and killed last Wednesday, Jan. 3.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office arrested two suspects just three days following the horrific murder of the Polk City man, including 22-year-old Kenly Campbell and 22-year-old Darril Lamar Rankin. Deputies arrested 18-year-old Gerjuan Demarcus Jackson Tuesday. All three suspects lived in Mobile, Alabama.

Jackson, a subcontractor for FEMA contractor, Vanguard, had originally met with Reiss following Hurricane Irma when he was sent to assess the damage done to his Polk City home. 

He quickly learned of Reiss' extensive gun collection, which included unique long guns and pistols.

Two weeks later, Jackson bought two .45 caliber handguns and returned to Alabama, where he was later arrested for improper possession.

He told Campbell and Rankin where they could find more guns and the three set out to Polk City in a small gray Chevrolet Sonic from Mobile, Alabama on Jan. 3.

"Gerjuan knew our victim. [He] had purchased guns from our victim, so our victim obviously opened the door and let him in, and went back and sat in his lounge chair," Judd said during the press conference announcement. "He even said during their trip to Florida, 'I'll tell you what, I'm just going to kill him.'"

A conversation reportedly took place between Jackson and Weiss before Jackson shot him five times, four times in the head and once to the hand. 

"He said he shot him once and noticed that he was suffering, so he continued to shoot him, because 'he didn't want him to suffer.'"

Reiss' 57-year-old roommate was in the other room when the shooting happened and came to investigate the noise, which is when Jackson shot him four times, twice in the head. 

Campbell and Rankin ran inside to help Jackson following the gunshots, where they stole around 20 to 25 firearms and a flatscreen television from the house. 

They stole enough property it wouldn't fit, so they also decided to steal the victim's truck and bring it back to Alabama with them, Judd said. 

The blue two-door 2008 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup belonging to Reiss was driven back to Alabama.

"We have confirmed that we have recovered six firearms, three from the residence [during the burglarly]. We recovered the vehicle that was dumped and burned," Judd announced.

According to Judd, the 57-year-old victim, who was a good friend and roommate of Reiss, is still in critical, but stable condition at a local hospital.

"He's literally fighting for his life every day - he is still extremely, extremely critical," Judd added.

With the help of the community and local businesses, deputies were able to trace the Chevrolet back to Campbell. 

The three murder suspects' fates? "Our goal is to make sure they never walk the face of the earth again where they'll have the opportunity to murder other people," Judd said. 

Judd added that the sheriff's office has tried to get in touch with FEMA, however, "We're still in the phone queue with FEMA, but I bet you they'll call us back after today. FEMA, we've been trying to call you but, customer service, you don't answer your phones.

Judd's next concern? 

Judd ended the press conference with, "There's a possibility that Mobile has approximately another 15 to 20 firearms on the streets of Mobile, Alabama, and they didn't go to Sunday school teachers. They went to criminals and criminal elements and will show up at some point in time in and around Mobile and maybe across the United States involved in some other criminal conduct."

Reiss' daughter, Katrina Urso, gave a heartfelt reflection on her father's death, adding, "He was the biggest teddy bear, he wouldn't have hurt anyone, it's amazing to me. I'll always live with why. He would help people and set up the communication during hurricanes and it's kind of ironic - but he wouldn't want people to think they're all bad people."

According to Uso, Reiss was a great grandfather who loved motorcycles and Facebook quizzes.

She added that his roommate is an amazing man who treated her kids like 'they're his own grandkids.'

"They didn't deserve this. [They're] gentle teddy bears," she tearfully added. 

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