Video shows ‘lookout’ suspect in El Mula mass shooting admitted ‘to peep the scene’

Suspect told detectives conflict among rappers ‘Savage’ and ‘FoePack’ resulted in 3 killed, 20 injured in Miami-Dade

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Testimony in the trial of a 24-year-old man who is accused of acting as “a lookout” during a 2021 mass shooting is set to continue on Wednesday in Miami-Dade County court.

Detectives reported a group of shooters fired at a crowd who was waiting to get into a Memorial Day weekend rap party at about 12:30 a.m., on May 30, 2021, at El Mula Banquet Hall, at 7630 NW 186 St.

“I was supposed to peep the scene and leave‚” Davonte Barnes, then 22, said during a police interrogation, according to a video that the prosecution played to the jury in open court on Wednesday showing him with detectives Richard Raphael and Alexandra Turnes.

Detectives reported that 23 people were shot: Shaniqua Peterson, Desmond Owens, and Clayton Dillard III died and 20 were injured. Turnes said Owens had been the suspect in a prior murder.

“I was supposed to be there to see if, yeah, FoePack and a lot of other people was there,” Barnes told the detectives referring to the rapper Antonio “FoePack” Jones.

Barnes agreed with the detectives that the shooting at El Mula was the result of a conflict between two groups in the areas of Miami Gardens and Opa-locka that goes back years.

“They want to kill each other,” Barnes told detectives during the interrogation about rappers “Savage” and “FoePack.”

Turnes said during her testimony in court that the suspects who fired at the crowd arrived in a black Nissan Altima, a white Nissan Path Finder, and a black Cadillac XT5.

Barnes told detectives that he found out about rapper ABMG Spitta’s performance at El Mula through a flyer on Instagram. He also said he was with his cousin Darryl Baker when he parked a silver Nissan in the strip mall and left before the shooting.

Barnes also told detectives a man who was known as “Hot Dog” was the driver of the Cadillac XT5 and “OG Drop” was a passenger. Barnes is the only suspect prosecuted.

Turnes told Assistant State Attorney Christoper Flanagan in court Wednesday that they had associated the nicknames that Barnes mentioned with first and last names.

Other detectives who studied the evidence at the crime scene and from the victims’ bodies testified there were nine different firearms involved including a GLOCK Gen5 pistol.

On Tuesday, Turnes said recording the interrogation with Barnes required six DVDs with two hours of video each, but the first had “an issue” with the audio. She said it was “distorted,” and she “freaked” out after several attempts to burn three other DVDs.

“Honestly, I wanted to cry. It’s very crucial,” Turnes said about the evidence in Barnes’s case.

On Wednesday, Turnes testified that the device with the audio was made in the United Kingdom, so detectives mailed it to the manufacturer hoping to get the audio back.

Attorney Robert Barrar, who is defending Barnes, said during his opening statement that the detectives’ interrogation was about eight hours long, and Barnes had “said what they wanted him to say.”

Detectives arrested Barnes after he confessed on Sept. 23, 2021, and prosecutors charged him with three counts of first-degree murder and 20 counts of first-degree attempted murder, records show.

Warneric “Dula” Buckner — a former Norland Senior High School football player who was facing charges for another shooting that killed a 6-year-old girl — briefly faced charges for the shooting, but prosecutors later dropped the case due to insufficient evidence.

Barnes was in the custody of the Miami-Dade County Pre-Trial Detention Center. Miami-Dade County Circuit Judge Marisa Tinkler Mendez was presiding over the case.

If convicted, Barnes faces the possibility of life in prison without parole. Tinkler Mendez announced a death penalty waiver before the trial started.

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About the Authors:

Liane Morejon is an Emmy-winning reporter who joined the Local 10 News family in January 2010. Born and raised in Coral Gables, Liane has a unique perspective on covering news in her own backyard.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.