October 31, 2016
On January 14, 2014 at around 1:30 in the morning, 33-year-old Jamal Fleming stepped out of his friends car at the Chevron station on W. Memorial Blvd in Lakeland, Florida. As Jamal pumped gas he was shot once, in the head, from the direction of North Brunnell Parkway.
According to detectives, over the next two years, a number of witnesses came forward and identified Sidney Lee Mells as the shooter. On January 14, 2016, exactly two years after the shooting, Mells was indicted by a grand jury for the murder of Jamal Fleming. Detectives believe Jamal was not the intended target but was caught between two rival gang members.
Jamal was a father, son, brother, uncle and friend. He was also registered organ donor and media reports stated that his liver, lungs, kidneys and other tissues were donated to save the lives of five people. Jamal’s family waited two years for an arrest and still have a long road ahead for justice, but hopefully this case will bring hope to other families still waiting for answers. The Lakeland Police Department worked diligently and credited community involvement, particularly the willingness of witnesses to come forward, as a key part of the puzzle to solving this case.
If you have a loved one that is the victim of an unsolved homicide please submit their case here for consideration in a future Cold Case Spotlight post.