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Gunshot fired as teens brawl during spring break on St. Pete Beach

ST. PETE BEACH — Someone fired off a gunshot as teens on spring break brawled on the beach Tuesday, according to St. Pete Beach police. Now police say they need teens — or any other witnesses — to help close their investigation.

No one was injured, and no one has been arrested. Police said they're still investigating the incident but have identified a "person of interest" who they believe fired the shot. But police have not publicly identified that suspect.

St. Pete Beach police Capt. Dean Horianopoulos said they're having trouble getting teen witnesses to come forward and help their investigation.

"We're trying to get people to cooperate and talk, there's a lot we still need to work through," Horianopoulos said. "It'd be a lot more helpful if we had more kids coming forward to tell us what happened.

"But when an incident happens, people scatter, and when the police come, they scatter even quicker."

The incident started about 4 p.m. at Upham Beach, located on the northern edge of St. Pete Beach.

Two groups of teens got into some kind of altercation on the beach, the captain said, which carried over into the parking lot. Police did not identify those teens or say what schools they attend.

Then the "person of interest" pulled out a handgun and fired off one shot, police said. But they did not disclose any other details, including whether the shooter was aiming for anyone, what type of firearm was used or what criminal charges the shooter faces.

It's spring break for Pinellas public schools, and the county's beaches are filled with teens. Horianopoulos said police gear up for a busy spring break every year.

"We just need to have some more pieces of the puzzle," the captain said.

Jamal Thalji can be reached at thalji@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8472.

Fast facts

Info needed

Police are asking anyone with information about Tuesday's shooting incident on St. Pete Beach to call Pinellas Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-873-8477. Callers can remain anonymous.

Gunshot fired as teens brawl during spring break on St. Pete Beach 03/31/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 11:31pm]
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