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Teen faces first-degree murder charge linked to pre, post prom events

Lawrence Chavers Jr. arrested after shootings six months ago
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Posted at 9:20 PM, Sep 27, 2023

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A 18-year-old West Palm Beach man is facing a first-degree murder charge in connection to Palm Beach Lakes High School pre- and post-prom events six months ago near West Palm Beach.

Lawrence Chavers Jr. was arrested Monday night in the shooting at the second event, and also is facing two attempted first-degree murder counts, shooting into an occupied vehicle and discharging a firearm into public. He was denied bail Tuesday and his next hearing is at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 26.

On Thursday, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office announced a 17-year-old "was determined to be involved in the homicide" and he is in jail facing charges on another homicide.

At 8:10 p.m. April 1, Palm Beach County deputies responded to a shooting at Dyer Park, 7301 N. Haverhill Road. No one was hurt, but deputies recovered 39 shell casings on the basketball courts of the park.

Witnesses said there were about 100 to 150 people at the park for a pre-prom event.

Witnesses described a Black male wearing a hoodie and a mask walking into the crowd and opening fire.

The crowd fled the area, PBSO said. No injuries there were reported.

At about 1:30 a.m. on April 2, a deputy in the area reported shots fired at the Coco Plum Plaza near Military Trail and Community Drive, 2824 N. Military Trail, about 5.5 miles from the first shooting.

Two shootings near West Palm Beach. Google Maps.jpg
Two shootings near West Palm Beach.

Dispatched deputies found a crowd dispersing.

Witnesses described this event as a Palm Beach Lakes after-prom party. Fifty-three casings were found, some of which were consistent with the ammunition found at the park.

About 5 minutes later at 1:35 a.m., a 911 caller driving on Interstate 95 near 45th Street reported two shooting victims in his 2014 Mercedes Benz E350.

West Palm Beach Fire Department personnel declared one person dead with a gunshot wound. A man was taken to St. Mary's Medical Center.

The driver didn't have any injuries.

The victims' names were redacted in the arrest report.

Witnesses told deputies four males with ski masks and two rifles got out of a white sedan before shots at the after-prom party.

Investigators found three weapons were used at both locations.

Witnesses said several people were involved in the shootings with one nicknamed Boogie, later determined to be Chavers. Social media accounts of two people and an alleged girlfriend.

Witnesses helped deputies identify Chavers as a shooter. Detectives used cellphone data, license plate readers and GPS of the suspect's car to connect him to the crime scenes.

Deputies conducted a search warrant for the apartment of Chavers, who denied involvement in the crime. He claimed he only knew about the shooting from his girlfriend.

No other arrests have been reported.