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Injured St. Petersburg teen left at hospital after gang shootout

ST. PETERSBURG — A neighborhood gang dispute turned into a car chase and then a gun battle that left a 15-year-old wounded inside a stolen vehicle on Wednesday, police said.

Detectives spent Thursday trying to answer a host of questions: Who were the shooters? Who stole the vehicle? Who dumped the injured teen off at All Children's Hospital afterward?

One person who hasn't been much help, police said, is the victim, Javonta W. McLaurin.

"He has not been very informative," said police spokesman Bill Proffitt.

The teen's condition was not available Thursday. His family could not be reached for comment. But St. Petersburg police did release a few new details:

A brewing dispute between two gangs of armed neighborhood youths exploded when they got into a car chase round 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Police said the injured teen was a rear-seat passenger in the vehicle that was being chased. The vehicles stopped at the 3800 block of 11th Avenue S, where both sides shot at each other.

McLaurin did not appear to have been one of the shooters, police said, but he appeared to have been the only one injured.

After the shootout, the friends parked the car and ran, leaving McLaurin behind.

"His buddies abandon him and he's left inside the vehicle, wounded," Proffitt said.

McLaurin used his cell phone to call friends to come get him, police said. They drove the stolen vehicle to All Children's, dropped him off there, then drove away.

McLaurin was the second shooting victim to be dumped at All Children's in three weeks.

Christopher Lamont Danford, 21, died there on Oct. 22 minutes after being dumped off.

Police asked anyone with information about Wednesday's shooting to call the anonymous tip line at (727) 892-5000 or to text police at (727) 420-8911.

Injured St. Petersburg teen left at hospital after gang shootout 11/12/09 [Last modified: Thursday, November 12, 2009 11:14pm]
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