Arrest made in connection to church funeral killings

Derrick Peoples web.jpg
Derrick Peoples is facing a murder charge after police believe he shot and killed the man who killed 15-year-old Terrance Jackson at a funeral at a church in Riviera Beach. (PBSO | Family photo used with permission)

Police arrested a 19-year-old in connection to a double murder at a church funeral in Riviera Beach.

Derrick Eugene Peoples is being held on a charge of first degree murder with a firearm.

According to police, Peoples is a suspect in the death of 47-year-old Royce Freeman.

Police believe Freeman shot and killed 15-year-old Terrance Jackson, a Deerfield Beach High School football player, at the teen's grandfather's funeral at the Victory City Church on Feb. 1.

Investigators said after the first shooting, a pall bearer came up to Freeman and appeared to point a gun at him. Seconds later, police said the crowd scattered as if they reacted to the sound of gunfire. Freeman crawls to a parked car where police believe Peoples came up to him, grab Freeman's gun from the ground, take a shooting stance before running off. Police said surveillance video from the area shows more people scattering to seek cover.

According to the report, police said Freeman suffered five gunshots, with the fifth and final shot to the head coming from Peoples.

"The head shot appears to be consistent to a close encounter execution style gunshot wound which is indicative to Peoples' actions when he approached Freeman," wrote the detective in the report.

A third person, a 30-year-old woman, suffered a gunshot wound to the backside during the shooting. She went to St Mary's Medical Center with non life-threatening injuries.