Man shot dead in apparent robbery
A St. Petersburg man was lured by a woman to an address near Round Lake Park on Saturday night, attacked by two men and shot, say St. Petersburg police. Shannon Griffin, 22, was pronounced dead at the scene. Jennifer Ann Mee, 19, Laron C. Raiford, 20, and Lamont Newton, 22, all of St. Petersburg, have been arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the killing, which police say was a robbery gone bad. After Mee brought Griffin to 511 Seventh St. N, Raiford and Newton approached him with a gun and tried to take "miscellaneous items" from Griffin, police say. Griffin was shot several times in his upper body after he struggled. No other information was available Sunday night.
Trail walker robbed and pistol-whipped
A man was pistol-whipped and robbed as he walked on the Pinellas Trail Saturday night. According to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, the 53-year-old man was walking home on the trail from a bar about 10:30 p.m. when he was approached by three young men or teens on bikes near Pershing Street. The suspects demanded money. The victim handed over his wallet, but was still pistol-whipped. The suspects then fled. The man was able to get to a nearby home, where he asked for help. He was taken by air to Bayfront Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff's Office at (727) 582-6200 or Crimestoppers toll-free at 1-800-873-8477 (TIPS).
Firefighters probe vehicle fires
Several vehicle fires early Sunday are under investigation. Firefighters responded to a vehicle fire at 200 78th Ave. N at 2:06 a.m., where they found two minivans and a Nissan Pathfinder on fire. Investigators determined the cause was arson. Lt. Joel Granata, a deputy fire marshal, said the investigation continues. In a second incident, units responded to a vehicle fire at 53rd Street S and Sixth Avenue S at 6:06 a.m. Firefighters found a van fully engulfed in flames. The fire was quickly extinguished. Investigators have not yet determined the cause of the fire.
Store damaged in early morning fire
A fire early Sunday caused thousands of dollars in damage to a convenience store. According to St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue, crews arrived at Mama Helen's Convenience Store, 2201 Sixth Ave. S, at 4:06 a.m. and found the store filled with smoke and fire. District Chief Dean Adamides said the fire started on the outside of the building and moved up a fence and into the attic. Adamides said investigators are working to determine the cause. Damage estimates are between $40,000 and $50,000. There were no injuries reported.
Times staffer arrested on drug charges
A 25-year-old St. Petersburg man was charged with felony drug counts Saturday afternoon. Daron A. Welch was returning home from picking up a laptop at his mother's house when he was stopped for running a stop sign, police said. They found Welch had restrictions on his license that permitted him to drive only for work purposes. When an officer searched his 2006 Chevy, he said he found 159 grams of marijuana in a backpack, including six bags that police say were intended for individual sale. An ecstasy pill was also found. Welch, a part-time St. Petersburg Times employee who prepares newspapers in the packaging department for delivery, was being held in the Pinellas County Jail on $7,500 bail.