UPDATE #3 - CCSO INVESTIGATES COPELAND PARK SHOOTING @ 16 Oct 2020
Members of the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO), alongside our partners with the United States Marshall’s Task Force, took David Jerome Lemon Jr. into custody for charges of Possession of Ammunition by a Convicted Felon. Lemon is being held at the Citrus County Detention Facility on a no bond status.

David Jerome Lemon Jr. is a person of interest in the murder of Tyler Hopkins. On February 20th, 2020, Hopkins was shot in Crystal River near the area of Copeland Park. Detectives with the CCSO Major Crimes Unit have diligently investigated this incident, working to identify the shooter and bring them to justice.

At this time, detectives are asking that anyone with additional information to contact CCSO at (352)249-2790 and ask for the Major Crimes Unit. To submit a tip anonymously and possibly become eligible for a reward, call Crime Stoppers of Citrus County at 1-888-ANY-TIPS.

“To the members of the Copeland Park community and Mr. Hopkin’s family, the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office wants to bring you justice for your loss, but we need your help,” said Sheriff Mike Prendergast. “It is your knowledge, tips, and information that will help detectives build a rock solid case which can then be brought before a judge. If you know anything, please speak up.”

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(Update #2) The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office is requesting your assistance in locating 25-year-old David Jerome Lemon, Jr., as he is a person of interest and wanted for questioning in reference to the fatal shooting of Tyler Hopkins which took place on February 20th, 2020 in Crystal River. Lemon is a black male, 5’7” tall, weighing approximately 165lbs, typically wearing a short beard and medium length dreadlocks.

We are asking for David Lemon to turn himself into the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, or any Sheriff’s Office, for his active warrant for possession of ammunition by a convicted felon. We are aware of the circumstances surrounding this incident, and want to give all parties involved the opportunity to provide details.

If you have information regarding the location of David Lemon or can provide any additional information in reference to his whereabouts, please call the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office at 352-726-1121 or Crime Stoppers at 1-888-ANY-TIPS.

We additionally would like to thank the members of the community that have already given detectives crucial information regarding this investigation. We know there are other citizens who have important information in reference to this homicide, and we encourage them to step forward.

Our agency continues to work in unison with the members of the community to bring about justice. If you believe your family member or friend has information, please support and encourage them to do the right thing by coming forward. We are working tirelessly to repair the fabric of this close knit community and provide them with answers.

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(Update #1) Last night, February 20, 2020, the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office began its investigation into a homicide that occurred in the front yard of a residence off of Northeast 1st Street in Crystal River, FL.

A CCSO deputy originally responded to the area due to a call for service, regarding the discharge of a possible firearm. Witnesses told the responding deputy they heard gunshots in the area of Copeland Park. Upon further investigation, it was discovered that a male subject was transported to Seven Rivers Hospital with injuries.

The subject was identified as 26-year-old Tyler Hopkins of Hernando, FL. Tyler was pronounced deceased at the hospital due to his injuries. No other persons were injured during this isolated incident. The motive for this incident is unclear.

“At this time, Major Crime detectives are working diligently to make sure we turn over every stone. We will unwaveringly continue our investigation into the unfortunate death of our victim, Tyler Hopkins,” said Sheriff Prendergast. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Tyler.”

More information regarding this ongoing investigation into this incident will be provided as it becomes available for release.

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office would like to encourage anyone with information regarding this incident to call 352-726-1121, or to remain anonymous please call Citrus County Crime Stoppers at 1-888-ANY-TIPS.

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(Original News Release) Shortly after 7 p.m. tonight, a Citrus County Sheriff’s Office deputy responded to the area of Northeast 1st Street in Crystal River, regarding the discharge of a possible firearm.

Witnesses in the area told the deputy they heard gunshots in the area of Copeland Park and noticed an African American male in a red shirt running from the location. As the deputy began to investigate the vicinity of the area where witnesses heard gunshots, it was discovered that a male subject was transported by a witness to the hospital. At the hospital, the male was pronounced deceased.

Immediately, Major Crimes detectives were called out to secure the scene and investigate. An AlertCitrus was issued to residents in the area, urging them to lock their doors and remain inside for their safety as we continue to investigate the circumstances involving this shooting.

As this investigation remains active, no additional details are available at this time.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office at 352-726-1121, or to remain anonymous please call Citrus County Crime Stoppers at 1-888-ANY-TIPS.