Man killed in motorcycle crash had violent past


The motorcyclist who died in a traffic crash Tuesday morning near Butler Plaza was a convicted felon once imprisoned for his role in a 2017 drive-by shooting that left four people wounded following a high school football game, according to court records.

On Tuesday morning, Reggie L. Lovett Jr., 23, of Gainesville was riding a black Suzuki west on Southwest Archer Road when he ran a red light at Clark Butler Boulevard striking an SUV, according to a crash report.

The motorcycle struck the driver’s side door of the SUV, ejecting Lovett. Lovett, who was not wearing a helmet, died at the scene, police said. The driver and passenger of the SUV suffered minor injuries and were transported to UF Health Shands, according to the report.

The owner of the motorcycle, a former UF student, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Lovett made headlines in 2018 after he was identified as the assailant in the August 2017 drive-by shooting that left four teens wounded following a high school football rivalry game between Eastside and Buchholz at Citizens Field. 

Two days before the shooting, Lovett was accused of pointing a loaded handgun at a man and saying, “This is not a game” and “I will kill you,” according to court records.

Initially accused of four counts of attempted first-degree murder, he ultimately pleaded guilty to discharging a firearm from a vehicle and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to 30 months behind bars, according to court records.

With credit for time served, corrections records show Lovett spent about 16 months in prison.

Five days before his death, Lovett was issued a summons for violating probation in a case where he pleaded guilty to domestic battery after assaulting and threatening to shoot the mother of his child. In addition to 12 months probation, Lovett was sentenced to 60 days in jail.

The accident remains under investigation, police said.

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This is a breaking news story. Check back for further developments. Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.


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