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Shooting arrest

ECSO still investigating late-May assault at Freemanville teen center


News Staff Writer

County sheriff’s investigators are still working to determine just what happened to trigger a shooting incident that erupted during a late-May gathering in Freemanville and left one person in critical condition.
According to a story published online June 7 by WKRG-TV, a large crowd had gathered for what started as a “rap battle” between a group from Atmore and a group from Evergreen. The gathering turned into a gun battle, with a familiar name facing charges.
Yeldon Devanta Rostchild, 29, of Atmore was arrested after video of the gun battle showed he pulled out an AR-15 — a semi-automatic rifle that had been converted to a pistol — and began shooting. The video shows that two other people also pulled weapons, and that one of them also fired several rounds.
The Mobile television station reported that sheriff’s investigators recovered more than 85 shell casings from the ground around Four Sons, an entertainment venue located in the tiny community, where the rap battle was taking place.
One person was struck by four bullets and was critically wounded, the report states. That person was reportedly the only individual who was hit during the shooting, although several cars were shot at as they left, and several nearby houses were hit by flying lead. Reports are that a “large crowd” attended the event.
Neither witnesses nor the victim have cooperated with investigators, the county sheriff told the Mobile television station.
Rostchild is no stranger to local law enforcement. He was released from the county jail in January after having spent six years behind bars on a capital murder charge, which was dropped because of a lack of evidence.
He was already free on bond when he was arrested during the sheriff’s office investigation into the April 26, 2017, murder of Donta Russell. Investigators determined that Rostchild was involved with Darrell Octavius Brown in Russell’s shooting death.
Brown, who is being held on two separate capital murder charges, was moved from the Escambia County Detention Center to another, unnamed facility, reportedly for security reasons. He is scheduled to face trial this month.
According to the ECDC website, Rostchild remained in the facility as midweek approached. He is being held under a $300,000 bond on one count each of reckless endangerment, possession of a firearm by a felon and shooting into an occupied dwelling.
The county sheriff, apparently referring to the May 11 shooting during a May Day celebration in Stockton that left three people — including a local grocery store cashier — dead and 15 others injured, said the local incident didn’t turn out as tragically as it could have.
“These large gatherings are powder kegs, and you never know when it is going to boil over,” the sheriff said. “We are very fortunate that it wasn’t worse than what it was.”