Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Public safety

Teen arrested in shooting at St. Petersburg birthday party

ST. PETERSBURG — A teenager who shot into the air from a car driving past an outdoor birthday party Sunday afternoon has been arrested, police said.

Latellis Everett, 15, who was injured when someone at the party returned fire, will be charged with discharging a firearm from a vehicle, police said. He also had a warrant for violating probation for an earlier trespassing charge, police said.

Another teen who was in the car and also critically injured remained in the hospital Monday. Police have not released his name.

Authorities said the teens — and possibly at least two others — drove by an outdoor bash Sunday night in the 3600 block of Third Avenue S in a white Chevrolet sedan. As the car passed by the party, which drew about 150 people, Everett — and possibly others — shot a gun into the air.

At least one person from the party shot back, police said Monday.

During the chaos, two children at the party, a 13-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy, were struck by "snakeshot," a type of ammunition that breaks apart into tiny pieces and often is used to kill snakes and other animals.

Both children, identified as Michael King of St. Petersburg and Kishauna Freeman of Gulfport, were struck in the face. The girl was treated and released from the hospital; the boy underwent surgery on his eye, police said.

At first, police weren't sure anyone had been injured. By the time they arrived at the scene, all the children — including the two teens in the car — had been dropped off at hospitals.

Police later found the Chevy, which was stolen, abandoned. Blood inside the car and damage consistent with "snakeshot" led them to conclude that the two younger children were shot by someone at the party. "They were apparently caught in the gunfire," police spokesman Mike Puetz said.

No one from the party has been charged with a crime, police said.

Police said the gunfire may have been prompted by an ongoing rivalry between two "neighborhood groups." Neither King nor Freeman belongs to either group, police said.

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