Photos courtesy of Hoover Police Department
Darrian Bryant De'Ron Lucas
Darrian Bryant, 16, of Bessemer (at left) and De'Ron Keith Lucas, 19, of McCalla have been charged with murder in the Jan. 5 fatal shooting of Lake Cyrus resident Mike Gilotti.
Two more teenagers have been charged with murder in connection with the Jan. 5 fatal shooting of Lake Cyrus resident Mike Gilotti in front of his home, Hoover police announced this afternoon.
“We knew from the beginning there were four individuals present when Mike Gillotti was shot and killed, and it has taken us to this point to identify those four individuals,” Capt. Gregg Rector said. “We are certain who those individuals were, we have the right four individuals, and we have them in jail today, where they belong.”
The U.S. Marshal’s Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force on Thursday arrested 16-year-old Darrian Bryant of Bessemer after a brief foot chase ended in the 800 block of 12th Avenue in Midfield, Hoover police said in a press release.
A 19-year-old McCalla resident named De’Ron Keith Lucas also has been charged with murder in the Gilotti case. Lucas was arrested Jan. 7 by the task force and has been held ever since in the Tuscaloosa County Jail on charges of numerous felonies related to car break-ins and the theft of the Ford F-250 that was later used in the Hoover homicide and vehicle break-ins, Hoover police said.
Detectives have known all along that Lucas was the suspect who was wearing the “FLY” shirt in the surveillance photos released to the media on Jan. 8, police said.
“Lucas and Bryant were two of several suspect names that emerged very early in the investigation,” Hoover police said in their news release. “Detectives have been determined from the beginning to hold every suspect accountable who was present when this terrible crime was committed. Those same detectives have worked tirelessly since Jan. 5, and we believe today represents the end of the first chapter in this case.”
Two other teenagers, 16-year-old Charleston Everett Wells of Bessemer and 17-year-old Ahmad Jaquan Johnson of Birmingham, already have been charged with murder in connection with Gilotti’s killing. Wells was charged on Jan. 15, and Johnson was charged on Feb. 4.
Rector said they would not release who fired the shot that killed Gilotti, saying it might be giving away too much information. All four individuals were present when Gilotti was shot and were involved in multiple other crimes, he said.
“A man was shot and killed, and they are very appropriately being charged with murder,” Rector said.
Hoover police said they hope the latest charges bring a small measure of closure and relief to the Gilotti family and the Hoover community. Investigators have been in contact with the Gillotti family and updated them about the most recent arrests, Rector said.
“Today’s not a happy day by any means, but it’s a little sense of relief for us that we know all four individuals that were there when Mike was killed, they’re all four locked away today,” he said.
“We remain committed to seeing full justice as this case proceeds, and it continues to be a top priority,” police said in the news release.
Bryant this afternoon was being held in a juvenile holding facility in Tuscaloosa, but is being charged as an adult in the Hoover homicide and is expected to be transferred back to Jefferson County today, police said. Both he and Lucas are being held without bond.
Rector said there were several departments to thank, but he said the Bessemer Police Department, Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Marshal’s Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force were crucial in the case.
“It’s really been overwhelming, the amount of support the Hoover Police Department has gotten from these agencies,” Rector said.
Police say anyone with additional information about the Gilotti homicide and the series of crimes that led to it can contact Sgt. Keith Czeskleba at 205-739-6795 or the Hoover Police Department at 205-822-5300.
Callers also can remain anonymous and potentially be eligible for a cash reward by contacting Crime Stoppers of Metro Alabama at 205-254-7777.
Erica Techo contributed to this article and produced the video below.