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Childs Park shooting victim: St. Petersburg police arrested the wrong man

LARGO — The 16-year-old victim of last week's shooting outside Childs Park Recreation Center told a judge Friday that authorities have the wrong man behind bars.

Jawaun Holloway told Chief Judge Robert Morris during a bail hearing that he didn't think 19-year-old Rayni Adams deserved to be arrested.

"I don't think he should really, like, be there," the teen said from a wheelchair. "I talked to the police and told them he wasn't the shooter."

The testimony of Holloway, who showed up at the hearing with Adams' grandparents, did not sway Morris, who rejected a motion to lower Adams' $20,000 bail.

Adams remained jailed Friday. He has pleaded not guilty.

Holloway is still recovering from two torso wounds he received in the April 21 shooting. Police said Holloway was shot as he ran away from a group of teens who were fighting.

Police did not arrest Adams on charges that he shot Holloway. They charged him with aggravated assault based on statements from witnesses who saw him firing a gun, police said.

Police have said they don't know if bullets from the gun Adams is accused of firing hit Holloway. They also said there may have been another shooter.

But an arrest affidavit filed by St. Petersburg police states that the shooting victim — it doesn't name Holloway — picked Adams out of a photo lineup and identified him as the shooter.

On Friday, Holloway confirmed that police came to him with a photo pack that contained a picture of Adams. But he said he told officers that he couldn't pick out anyone in the photo pack as the shooter.

Police initially didn't put anything about the photo pack in the arrest report. At Adams' first court appearance the next day, a judge questioned whether police had enough probable cause noted in the affidavit to keep Adams in custody. The judge gave them a day to amend the affidavit.

Police filed an amended affidavit the next day that includes the information about the photo pack.

Holloway said he remembers seeing Adams, who sometimes hangs out with his older brother, on the night of the shooting.

He said he knows Adams wasn't the shooter because he saw him running away as he was fleeing.

"I didn't see him with a gun," Holloway said. "I didn't see him shooting, so why they got him?"

St. Petersburg police spokesman Bill Proffitt said Holloway's assertion that Adams didn't shoot him doesn't affect the nature of the charges. In Florida, aggravated assault can be an attack involving a deadly weapon without intending to kill.

"Potentially everybody in the crowd could've been victims," Proffitt said.

Police said the shooting was spurred by a fight outside the recreation center. Shots were fired and people scattered.

When police arrived, Holloway was lying in the parking lot. Police arrested Adams the next day.

Childs Park shooting victim: St. Petersburg police arrested the wrong man 05/01/09 [Last modified: Monday, May 4, 2009 3:31pm]
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