Witnesses say slain Ocala motel workers were innocent bystanders



MARION COUNTY, Fla. - An employee at a Marion County motel told Channel 9 that hours before a man shot and killed two workers, she had called police because he had threatened her and another employee.

Employee Rickishi Hawkins told Channel 9 she actually called the Sheriff's Office hours before the shooting because 37-year-old Kelvin Coleman threatened her and the other employee at the Vacation Host Inn in Ocala.

Hawkins said they were trying to enforce a motel rule after Coleman's children were riding their bicycles too close to the doors, but he got irate and even tried jump over the counter before storming out.

"Three deputies who are seasoned deputies arrived," said Judge Cochran of the Marion County Sheriff's Office. "They did assess the situation and at the moment, evidence wasn't there to put anyone in handcuffs."

"If they had just looked at his name, pulled his name, ran his name, this would have never happened, had they seen he was a threat to us instead of letting him stay here and kill people," said Hawkins.

Coleman lives at the complex, and employees said he had issues with someone across the courtyard, and the innocent victims happened to be in the way.

One of the victims was identified as Lester Carter, 42, who lived at the inn while working there.

The other victim, Glendora Johnson, 54, spent almost nine years of her life working at the inn.

"She helped the owner out with a lot of things," Hawkins said of the female victim. "She did everything."

Investigators said Coleman was involved in some sort of argument with a group of people at the inn, but left the scene.

When he returned, he was in a rage, witnesses said, and he opened fire on Carter and the woman, who were standing on a second-floor balcony.

"Both of them just minding their own business, just standing in the crowd that he crept up on and started shooting," said Hawkins.

"I just seen the guy shooting somebody like five times," said one witness. "And then a lady walked up. He stepped back and shot her twice and started beating them with the gun."

After the shooting, deputies walked along Pine Street with shotguns, looking for Coleman after he took off.

He was captured hours later, about 15 minutes away from the crime scene, in the Silver Springs Shores area of Ocala.

Coleman is being held in the Marion County Jail on two counts of first-degree murder and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was not granted bond.

Police said Coleman is no stranger to Marion County authorities. In 1997, he was arrested for attempted first-degree murder and shooting into an occupied vehicle.

He was released from Florida Department of Corrections custody in April 2007.

Then, less than two months later, he was arrested in Marion County for battery.

The DOC tacked on an additional two years to Coleman's sentence when he violated probation in his 1997 arrest.

He was released from Graceville Correctional Facility in 2009.

However, in 2010, he was arrested again in Marion County for battery and aggravated assault.