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ARCHER ‒ Donteau Ontrais Symonette, 41, was arrested early Saturday morning, April 23, following an attempted shooting at a card game in Archer.

According to the arrest report, an Alachua County Sheriff’s deputy responded to a call regarding an armed disturbance in Archer and found a victim bleeding from the back of his head.

The deputy learned from witnesses that a group of 10-20 people, including Symonette, had been playing spades on the front porch of a home. Symonette reportedly began losing money and told the other players he was going to get more money. When he returned, he allegedly pulled a handgun from his waistband and racked the slide back, then fired a round into the floor of the porch, saying, “Empty your pockets.”

The witnesses said that people started running, and Symonette said, “Don’t run, empty your pockets.” Symonette allegedly took money from some of the players and from the card table. He allegedly approached the victim and started hitting him in the head with his gun, then pointed the gun directly at the head of the victim and pulled the trigger multiple times. The gun malfunctioned, so the victim was not shot. The victim was able to strike the gun with his hand, causing Symonette to lose his grip. The gun fell in the bushes located just in front of the porch.

Witnesses said that Symonette retrieved the gun from the bushes and sat down at the table, racking the slide back and forth to try to clear the malfunction. Only one person was left sitting. Symonette placed the firearm on the table and allegedly exclaimed, “Don’t worry I’m not going to shoot you.” When deputies arrived, Symonette reportedly got into his truck and tried to drive away.

The deputy saw the truck driving away and relayed that information to other deputies, who pulled Symonette over and arrested him.

The deputy said he saw the hole in the wooden floor of the elevated front porch. Deputies were able to retrieve one spent .40 mm shell casing.

Post Miranda, Symonette denied ever being in the area of the incident location.

Symonette has previous felony convictions in Levy County and has been charged with attempted homicid, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, and unlawful discharge of a firearm. He is being held on $350,000 bond at the Alachua County Jail.

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