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Polk rapper charged in murder; allegedly rapped about shooting

Orlando Sentinel logoOrlando Sentinel 3/2/2023 Garfield Hylton, Orlando Sentinel

A Polk County man faces first-degree murder charges for allegedly killing another man — and potentially rapped about it on social media.

On Tuesday, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested 19-year-old La’Darion Chandler for homicide, according to its press release. Chandler is accused of shooting a 33-year-old man in the back in December. Sheriff Grady Judd spoke on the shooting at a Thursday morning press conference.

“There is a problem with very young gangsters shooting at each other — a problem that we aim to solve.” Judd said. “The suspects in shootings like this one aren’t even supposed to have guns. We need your help to get illegally-owned guns off the streets.”

The shooting happened on Dec. 17, at the Secret Cove subdivision in Lakeland. First responders took the victim to the hospital, but on Jan. 9, he died from his injuries.

The community sent in tips that helped detectives identify witnesses, several of whom, Chandler included, were documented gang members, according to the press release. Polk detectives also found a video on Chandler’s social media pages where he raps about shooting someone in the back.

Deputies initially arrested Chandler on Feb. 22 for an unrelated charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after he supposedly pointed a gun and threatened another victim. The aggravated assault took place near the same area as the fatal shooting. Officials arrested him after they served a search warrant and found ammunition inside a black duffel bag.

Authorities charged Chandler with three felonies for the Feb. 22 arrest: fleeing to elude, grand theft of a motor vehicle, and vehicle burglary, according to the press release. While he was in the Polk County Jail for those charges, officials indicted him on Tuesday for first-degree murder, convicted delinquent in possession of a firearm and aggravated assault with deadly weapon charges.

Deputies are also offering a $5,000 reward for any help recovering the gun used in the killing.

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