Saturday, May 26, 2018
Public safety

Detectives arrest teen in fatal St. Petersburg shooting

ST. PETERSBURG — Pinellas sheriff's deputies arrested a man late Thursday in connection with a Wednesday night shooting in Lealman that left a man dead and a woman hospitalized.

Jaquan L. Pedigo, 18, faces charges of first-degree murder and attempted murder in the shooting that happened about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at 2533 68th Ave. N, officials said. He was booked Thursday night in the Pinellas County Jail and held without bail.

It was not immediately clear how Pedigo was linked to the crime. Court records show he has no prior arrests in Pinellas County. Detectives were still looking for a second suspect late Thursday, authorities said.

Earlier Thursday, authorities identified the man who was killed and the woman who was injured as David J. Paonessa, 58, and his wife, Jane Bryant, 66. The couple was inside the 68th Avenue home where they lived when a "Lexus-type vehicle" pulled up and two men walked inside, sheriff's officials said.

Shots were fired. The gunmen then returned to the car and drove off.

Paonessa died at a local hospital. Bryant was hospitalized and treated for gunshot wounds, a sheriff's spokeswoman said. She was expected to recover from her wounds.

Investigators believe that the crime was not random and that it might have involved drugs, officials said.

"There were maybe five people in that house when the shootings occurred," said Pinellas County sheriff's spokeswoman Marianne Pasha. "Detectives don't think it was a random act. There is some level of familiarity among the people who were there."

Paonessa had a lengthy criminal history that included more than 15 arrests, including several on drug charges, dating back to 1976, according to state records. Bryant's arrest record includes a cocaine possession arrest and numerous theft-related charges dating back to 1992.

Both Paonessa and Bryant were the subject of a 1999 Times story that examined a legal dispute they had with the landlord of their St. Petersburg home. The story detailed the couple's struggle to pay rent and utilities on the home, which they shared with their then-15-year-old son, using disability payments they received due to various ailments.

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