David Lemon mug

David Lemon Jr. 

Citrus County Sheriff’s Office investigators continue their search for David Jerome Lemon Jr., a person of interest in the Feb. 20 shooting death of Tyler Hopkins in Crystal River.

Hopkins, 26, was shot at around 7 p.m. in his yard off of Northeast First Street near Copeland Park, according to prior reports. His girlfriend drove him to a hospital, where he was pronounced deceased.

Copeland Park shooting dominant

Citrus County Sheriff's Office personnel investigate the scene of a shooting Thursday night in the Copeland Park area of Crystal River.

Sheriff’s detectives have no additional information to release about the shooting, except for needing Lemon to answer their questions, agency spokeswoman Brittney Carman said.

“This was an isolated incident and we are thankful that no other individuals were injured,” Carman said. “At this time, we are seeking his cooperation in speaking with detectives regarding this incident.”

Person of interest sought in Thursday shooting

Lemon, 25, is a black man, 5-foot-7, about 165 pounds and typically has a short board and medium-length dreadlocks.

Anyone with information about Lemon’s whereabouts are being asked to call the sheriff’s office at 352-726-1121. 

Tipsters can also remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward by submitting information to Citrus County Crime Stoppers, reachable at 1-888-269-8477 or crimestopperscitrus.com.

Crystal River shooting victim identified

Authorities have also issued a warrant for Lemon’s arrest, charging him with possessing ammunition as a convicted felon.

According to Citrus County court filings, Lemon’s been convicted in two separate felony cases for possessing more than 20 grams of marijuana (a third-degree felony) in 2013 and 2016.

Sheriff’s deputies jailed Lemon on his first felony charge in July 2013. Lemon had 28 grams of marijuana on him during a traffic stop near Crystal River, according to his arrest report.

Lemon was eligible for and enrolled into an 18-month pre-trial intervention (PTI) program, which gives defendants a chance to dismiss their charge(s) without getting a felony conviction.

Court records show Lemon failed out of his PTI program in June 2014.

Circuit Judge Richard “Ric” Howard ordered Lemon in July 2014 to serve 3 years of probation with drug-offender conditions. Howard didn’t adjudicate Lemon guilty, keeping him from being a convicted felon, court records show.

Sheriff's office investigating shooting death

Lemon violated his probation in August 2014 after his arrest on a misdemeanor charge of domestic battery, which led to Lemon serving a 90-day jail sentence.

After Lemon admitted to the violation in October 2014, Howard revoked his probation, adjudicated him guilty and sentenced him to 9 months in jail.

Deputies arrested Lemon on his second felony charge in May 2016. According to his arrest report, Lemon had 3.18 pounds of marijuana on him during a traffic stop near Homosassa.

Lemon pleaded no contest to the offense in July 2016 in exchange for 3 years of drug-offender probation, which Howard granted along with convicting Lemon of the felony, court records show.

Howard allowed Lemon’s probation to end early in July 2017.

Contact Chronicle reporter Buster Thompson at 352-564-2916 or bthompson@chronicleonline.com.

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