Bystander shot during brawl at U.S. 19 strip club

CLEARWATER — A bystander was recovering from his injuries Friday after he was shot during an early-morning brawl outside the 24 Carat Gentlemen's Club.

Donavan Sermons, 37, was transported by friends to a local hospital after he was shot in the club's parking lot, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

At 3 a.m. deputies responded to a report of gunfire at the club at 16717 U.S. 19, north of East Bay Drive. Sermons was not involved in the fight, which began when the club was shutting down for the night, according to the Sheriff's Office.

The Sheriff's Office described Sermons' injuries as "non-life-threatening." Deputies are working to identify a suspect, said sheriff's Sgt. David DiSano.

Anyone with information that may assist detectives is asked to call Detective Capra of the robbery/homicide unit at (727) 582-6200. Or to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS.

In December 2010, the club made news for another violent episode. A man who became aggressive outside of the club died after the club's general manager put him in a choke hold and pinned him to the ground. No charges were filed in that case.

Peter Jamison can be reached at pjamison@tampabay.com or (727) 445-4157. Staff Writer Danny Valentine contributed to this report.

Bystander shot during brawl at U.S. 19 strip club 04/20/12 [Last modified: Friday, April 20, 2012 4:22pm]

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