Sunday, June 17, 2018
Public safety

14-year-old shot three times while sleeping in Tampa

TAMPA — Gunshots ripped up a house filled with sleeping adults and children before daybreak Saturday, wounding a 14-year-old boy three times.

The assault from outside the Sulphur Springs home pierced a living room window and wall as Jontavious Keion Gainous slept on a friend's couch. One shot lodged near his spine, said resident Tommy Moreland, 47.

The boy, in critical condition, was airlifted to Tampa General Hospital, police said. His parents could not be reached for comment.

Moreland said the boy was asleep in a back bedroom of the house at 8510 N 15th St. when the shooting began about 5:25 a.m. An 8-month-old baby, 2-year-old child and 4-year-old child were sleeping near him. About 10 people were in the home.

The sound of gunfire woke him.

"(Jontavious) was sleeping. Everybody was sleeping," Moreland said. "Why would somebody do that with kids in the house?"

Moreland wonders if the shooting was related to a disagreement Friday night at the home. Moreland's young nephews had been fighting over a computer and the argument spilled onto the front lawn, he said. A few men visiting at a neighbor's house tried to intervene.

"We told them it was none of their business," he said.

The men threatened his nephews, he said, and someone called the police, causing everyone to scatter.

"We thought it was the end of it," he said.

Moreland thinks there were two gunmen. He saw shotgun shells. Several shots went straight into the sofa and through a bathroom wall.

Fred Patterson, Moreland's brother-in-law, was also at the home when the shooting occurred. He, too, speculated about the men from Friday night. But he can't understand why it would have led to this.

"They had an argument earlier, but it didn't mean anything," he said.

Jontavious is expected to survive, Moreland said, but there could be complications due to the projectile's proximity to his spinal cord.

"I'm angry, I feel like they were cowards," Moreland said about the gunmen. "I hope police find them and I hope we get justice."

Officers were searching Saturday for suspects.

Police also are looking at an Ybor City shooting an hour earlier that reportedly involved a relative of the wounded boy.

In that case, too, a gunman carried a shotgun.

Yashica Johnson, 30, of Tampa was parked on the street with a passenger in front of a home at 3113 N 16th St. when the two saw a silver Hyundai circle the block and park behind them, police said.

A man got out of the vehicle with a shotgun and told Johnson to leave, police said. As they drove off, they heard several shots. Johnson drove to the Tampa Police Department's District 3 office and reported what happened. She then realized that she had been shot in the lower back, police said.

Johnson and Jontavious are cousins, Moreland said.

The woman's injuries do not appear to be life-threatening, police said.

News researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report. Shelley Rossetter can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 661-2442.

Comments
Motorcyclist and pedestrian die in Pasco crash

Motorcyclist and pedestrian die in Pasco crash

NEW PORT RICHEY — A motorcyclist and pedestrian both died in a crash Saturday night near Palmetto Road and U.S. 19, police reported.About 10:30 p.m., a St. Petersburg man, 41, was riding a 2012 Honda motorcycle north on the highway, according to the ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
1 dead, 20 injured in New Jersey arts festival shooting

1 dead, 20 injured in New Jersey arts festival shooting

TRENTON, N.J — Shooting broke out at an all-night art festival in Trenton, New Jersey, early Sunday, sending people stampeding from the scene and leaving one suspect dead and 20 people injured, a local prosecutor said. Many of the 20 injured were tre...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Mazzaro’s Italian Market closed after Friday night warehouse fire

Mazzaro’s Italian Market closed after Friday night warehouse fire

ST. PETERSBURG — Mazzaro’s Italian Market will be closed throughout the weekend after a warehouse fire broke out Friday.A St. Petersburg Police officer noticed smoke coming from the market at 22nd Ave. N around midnight Friday, said St. Petersburg F...
Published: 06/16/18
A fentanyl death. A crackdown on opioid dealers. Will it help?

A fentanyl death. A crackdown on opioid dealers. Will it help?

TAMPA — Loueita Hargens had known for years how her son Bradley Dykes would die. She had seen him cycle through drugs of choice, had lost track of the number of times he’d wound up in the hospital or prison.A recovering alcoholic herself, she cut him...
Published: 06/16/18
Deputies: Body found in Pasco lake is New Port Richey man, 74

Deputies: Body found in Pasco lake is New Port Richey man, 74

Deputies identified a body found in Frierson Lakes in Hudson on Thursday as a 74-year-old New Port Richey man.Kress Luebke’s kayak was seen overturned in the water on Thursday night, according to the Pasco Sheriff’s Office.A resident living along Fri...
Updated: 5 hours ago
St. Petersburg police make arrest 31 years after sexual assault

St. Petersburg police make arrest 31 years after sexual assault

ST. PETERSBURG — Police arrested a man Friday in connection with a 31-year-old sexual assault case and believe he’s connected to other unsolved cases from decades ago.Anthony Stokes, 56, faces a charge of armed sexual battery, according to St. Peters...
Published: 06/15/18
Records detail Wrigley heir’s $480,000 betrayal by trusted employees

Records detail Wrigley heir’s $480,000 betrayal by trusted employees

ODESSA — One day in the summer of 2014, Helen Rich spotted a Facebook post about an aging black Labrador in Kansas named Lady who badly needed a new home. The author and heir to the Wrigley gum fortune had recently lost her own Black lab. Rich decide...
Published: 06/15/18
Hillsborough Hispanic women targeted in lottery scam

Hillsborough Hispanic women targeted in lottery scam

TAMPA — Maria Pena-Lebron, 83, was walking out of Fresco y Mas with her groceries in May when she was approached by a woman wearing a straw hat, who pleaded with her for help. The stranger claimed to be an undocumented immigrant and therefore unable ...
Published: 06/15/18
Tampa fire captain demoted for stripping off shirt, daring homeless man to fight

Tampa fire captain demoted for stripping off shirt, daring homeless man to fight

TAMPA — Tampa Fire Rescue Capt. Jeremy Finney was, by all accounts, a model firefighter — until he lost his cool. The outburst cost him two ranks.Finney has served nearly 16 years in the department and was a member of the Tactical Medical Response Te...
Published: 06/15/18
Coaster that derailed in Daytona Beach had reported safety issues in 2017

Coaster that derailed in Daytona Beach had reported safety issues in 2017

DAYTONA BEACH — Two roller coaster riders fell 34 feet (10 meters) when their car derailed and was left dangling from the track, and firefighters used ladders to pull eight others to safety high above the Daytona Beach Boardwalk. "The front car which...
Published: 06/15/18