Desroy Lowe, 21, died after he was shot several times.
Police say two men fired eight to 10 shots at Timothy Davis, 20.
BELLE GLADE — Investigators are hoping some of the dozens of people who might have witnessed five separate shootings in Belle Glade and Pahokee Tuesday night can say what happened.
One man is dead and four others hurt after the two hours of gun play.
The mother of 21-year-old Desroy Lowe witnessed her son's murder near her home. Palm Beach County Sheriff's Spokeswoman Teri Barbera said he was shot several times.
Juanita Lowe held her son's head for more than 30 minutes while sitting in the median, waiting for paramedics. Her daughter Sikina Carswell, 30, described watching Desroy Lowe's eyes roll back into his head and then his arm go limp.
They asked him who the shooter was before he died, but blood - not words - poured from his mouth.
"He was trying to tell my mom what happened, who shot him," Carswell said. "He was trying to get it out."
"Why, Lord? Dumpling ... ," his mother whimpered this afternoon after waking up on her couch, whispering the nickname she gave her son for the dish she ate while pregnant with him. He was the fifth of her 11 children.
Family and friends piled into her apartment to offer their condolences, a scene too often repeated here in the Glades, where there were nearly twice as many slayings in the first half of this year as there were in all of 2007. Relatives and onlookers crowded around outside, flanked by television crews. Desroy Lowe's brother Larry Smith began a memorial of teddy bears, flowers and a Superman balloon.
Deputies scrambled Tuesday night to invetigate the other shootings while trying to control angry crowds.
The sheriff's violent crimes task force is trying to determine if any or all of the incidents are gang-related; they still don't know which, if any, are connected, Barbera said.
"We need the assistance of the community," she said.
The shootings began about 9:40 p.m.
Tyrone Odom, 17, said he was shot at 6390 Roosevelt Street in Belle Glade.
Odom was rushed to Glades General Hospital, where he was treated for a bullet that lodged between his scalp and skull, Barbera said. She said the bullet would be removed later and the wounds were not life-threatening.
Investigators went to the area but "didn't find a crime scene consistent with the description he gave us," Barbera said. She said Odom refused to prosecute.
About 10:25 p.m., Willie Cleveland, 19, was shot in the hip in the 300 block of Cypress Avenue in Pahokee.
Cleveland told investigators he saw a white Ford Crown Victoria and heard the shots fired.
Cleveland also was rushed to Glades General Hospital.
Three more shootings, on Belle Glade's Martin Luther King Boulevard, took place about a half hour later.
Deputies found Lowe lying in the road in the 800 block of Martin Luther King Boulevard.
Lowe was flown by helicopter to Delray Medical Center and later died.
His mother told investigators she was upstairs watching television when she heard gunshots. She went downstairs and saw a man dressed in white, with dreadlocks and with rubber bands in his hair, kicking her son.
Fearing for her own safety, she did not confront the man, she said.
Those who knew her son offered little information about him, simply saying he was "good guy." They said he had gone to school in Belle Glade, but didn't graduate. Family also said he had a girlfriend but no children and was in the process of getting a job.
They said he was not involved in gangs.
"Cause you get killed or hurt or something you have to be in a gang?" said Shirley Rumph Smith, 40, a close family friend.
Barbera said deputies worked to control about two dozen people there and were unable to get accounts from them.
Deputies eventually closed parts of Martin Luther King Boulevard and cross streets as the crowd dispersed.
Then, about 11:15 p.m, as Timothy Davis, 20, and Latravis Torrance, 23, both of Belle Glade, stood in the 600 block of Martin Luther King Boulevard, just two blocks from where Lowe was killed, two men, wearing all black and with dreadlocks, fired seven to 10 shots, Barbera said.
She said Davis was struck in the shoulder and Torrance in the chest.
Both were flown to St. Mary's Medical Center with injuries that were not life threatening, Barbera said. She said Torrance has refused to prosecute.
Sheriff's officials also later reported investigating assaults on 14th Street near the scene of the earlier shootings in Belle Glade and in Pahokee, Barbera said.
Many of the Lowes' family and friends blame the sheriff's office for the shooting and rise in crime in the area.
"If they found these young boys jobs a lot of this killing would stop," Smith said. "They need to get Belle Glade PD (sic) back in here. ... They need to get 'Squirrel' back in the seat."
Albert "Secret Squirrel" Dowdell was the city's former police chief, who was fired along with the rest of the city's police department two years ago. A grand jury investigation critical of the chief's and the department's handling of a 2005 nightclub shooting led to the city commission disbanding the police department and contracting with the sheriff's office for law enforcement services.
Dowdell is expected to go on trial in October on charges of lying to investigators about the shooting inquiry.
Still, there is much affection for him here in Belle Glade, where murders and shootings are on the rise since his departure. So far, the murders for this year are twice as many as the three reported last year.