BROOKSVILLE — Thunder cracked and rain poured from the sky above Kenardo Frazer as he ran for his life.
He sprinted through yards and across rain-slicked streets in the neighborhood just north of downtown Brooksville on Thursday. One woman thought she saw him climb the fence behind her house.
For a moment, investigators said, the 30-year-old lost the three men who wanted him dead. But as he stepped into the front yard of 1583 Howell Ave., he took his final steps.
The men — one of them the son of Hernando's most famous athlete, Jerome Brown — waited for Frazer behind a nearby vacant house on Lehouier Drive.
Shelby Fowler, 19, sat in her bedroom and typed on her laptop when she heard the confrontation just outside her window. Through the storm, two shots pierced the wet midday air.
"It just happened out of nowhere," she said.
Authorities say Julius Holder, a 25-year-old Brooksville man, shot Frazer with a 9mm pistol. Under a sweetgum tree, just blocks from his home, Frazer died.
Later that night, authorities nabbed three men in connection with the killing.
Hernando County Sheriff's Office deputies arrested Holder, Dunell Brown, 26, and Charles Bottom, 31. Holder and Brown were each being held on a charge of homicide, and Bottom was arrested on a charge of principle to homicide. All three were being held without bail Friday at the Hernando County Detention Center.
Dunell Brown's father, Jerome, was a star football player at Hernando High School, where he was named to Parade magazine's All-America team after his senior season. He later won a national championship in 1983 at the University of Miami and was named a first-team All-America in 1986. The next year, the Philadelphia Eagles drafted him in the first round of the National Football League draft. Jerome, a defensive lineman, starred for the team and was twice named an Associated Press All-Pro selection.
Jerome was killed in a 1992 car crash when he lost control of his Corvette and crashed into a utility pole and palm tree. Jerome's nephew, Gus Brown, also died in the wreck.
Dunell Brown was 7 when his father died.
Thursday afternoon, Jerome's brother, Calvin Brown, was teaching at the STAR Center during the shooting and, soon after, while the school was placed on lockdown.
He was stunned to hear the news about his nephew. Calvin, who has coached and taught in the area for years, said he also knows Holder. He coached each of them in youth sports and described both as good kids growing up.
"I'm just kind of shocked that they were involved in something of that magnitude," he said. "That's a sad thing for all parties for something like that to happen, because everybody loses."
The three suspects, including Dunell Brown, have substantial criminal records riddled with drug charges. According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, they have been arrested a combined 29 times.
Frazer, who has also faced drug charges, has been arrested nine times.
Sheriff Al Nienhuis declined to specify the suspected motive behind the killing, but acknowledged that drugs likely played a role.
"I think drugs are involved," he said, "and some domestic-type issues."
Authorities say Dunell Brown contacted Holder on Thursday morning and told him to bring a gun to his house on Sabra Drive. Holder and Bottom then drove to Frazer's house at 21375 Anderson Road, where investigators said Brown sometimes stays.
There, Holder learned of a beef between Dunell Brown and Frazer, a report said. Holder then drove to his house at 10438 Eastside Ave. and retrieved his pistol before authorities said he returned to the Anderson Road house.
Frazer ran as Dunell Brown, Holder and Bottom chased him through the neighborhood in a car, a report states. Before long, the report continues, they caught him, killed him, then sped away.
Deputies dressed in yellow rain gear covered the front lawn of the Howell Avenue home minutes later and spread a white tarp over Frazer's body.
About two hours after the shooting, a swarm of deputies — some with assault rifles and shotguns drawn — surrounded Frazer's Anderson Road house where the fatal chase began.
Investigators later led away two women and a man, none of whom were in handcuffs. One woman screamed at a Times photographer not to take her picture as she walked to a deputy's vehicle.
Just before 9 p.m. Thursday, a deputy approached Holder at a Brooksville intersection about 3 miles from the shooting. The deputy asked Holder whether he would go to the Sheriff's Office for an interview, a report states, and he agreed.
When he searched Holder, the deputy found an open pack of Newport cigarettes. Inside it, the deputy found a plastic bag filled with five white cocaine rocks, a report states.
The deputy took Holder to the Sheriff's Office, where he was eventually accused of killing Frazer.
Friday, Nienhuis declined to say whether any of the suspects confessed. Much of the investigation has yet to be completed, he said.
The sheriff glowed as he talked about the job his deputies did to track down the three suspects less than 12 hours after the shooting.
Given the horrendous weather and that Frazer had no identification on him when his body was found, the quick work was even more impressive.
"Obviously, catching the people who did this was a huge deal," he said. "I can't tell you how proud I am of all the work that's been done."
News researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this report. John Woodrow Cox can be reached at (352) 848-1432 or firstname.lastname@example.org.