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Ginnie Springs owner says they are limiting visitors after deadly Memorial Day shootings
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Ginnie Springs owner says they are limiting visitors after deadly Memorial Day shootings

  • PublishedJune 4, 2024


“We may not have it 100% worked out by 4th of July weekend, but we need to have as much as we can worked out by then,” Councilwoman Sharon Akins Langford said.

GILCHRIST COUNTY, Fla. — Ginnie Springs will create new rules to limit the number of visitors after two deadly shootings Memorial Day weekend, part-owner Taylor Skiles told the Gilchrist County Council Monday afternoon. 

Skiles also said Ginnie Springs plans to increase staff during busy holiday weekends and better educate staff on park policies.

The council voted Monday to create a committee to improve safety at the springs. Councilmember Sharon Akins Langford said the council needs to look at July 4 as a goalpost. 

“We may not have it 100% worked out by 4th of July weekend, but we need to have as much as we can worked out by then,” she told the council at Monday’s meeting, adding, “We have to make this a safer place.” 

Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz told the council “the time has come” to make changes at the springs.

“I’m looking for action,” he said, rather than words.

He told the council they can continue working together to try to find a solution and determine how many EMS staff and police officers should be there.

“It’s gonna get better,” Schultz said. “It has to get better.” 

Langford said she is concerned for locals who live near the springs as much as people who visit there. 

She says traffic and noise levels are impacting residents.

Councilmember Darrell Smith said he hears from residents who complain about traffic on county roads, noise and the “burden” on law enforcement.

In closing, Councilmember Bill Martin said the council is hopeful they can “get this thing under control.” 

“My heart goes out to those families though, that did lose someone this past weekend,” he said. “Hopefully we keep it from happening again.” 

What happened at Ginnie Springs Memorial Day weekend? 

Two people died as the result of two separate shootings in Ginnie Springs Memorial Day weekend.

Two others were also injured.

Twenty-six-year-old Marco Mandujano died from his injuries days after the shooting. He was shot when an unknown suspect, who still hasn’t been caught, fired into a crowd. Two others were hurt, but have both been released from the hospital.

Koty Stewart, 34, was shot and killed just after midnight Saturday. The investigation revealed the shooting stemmed from a dispute over a parking place at a campsite, according to police. 

Fisher Watts, 18, was arrested in the shooting after he allegedly fled the scene. He was found in Georgia and Gilchrist County police plan to extradite him. 





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