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Slaying linked to feud in St. Petersburg, residents fear

ST. PETERSBURG — One young man is dead and another is in jail after a Saturday night shooting that may be linked to an ongoing vendetta between teens from the Childs Park and Harbordale neighborhoods.

About 10 p.m., Levaud Landers was in front of 2411 Eighth St. S, just a block from where Deandre "Squirrel" Brown was shot and killed a year ago next week.

Police released few details Sunday, but Lenorak Keels, 17, is accused of shooting Landers once in the head with a handgun. The two St. Petersburg residents had earlier been involved in a verbal dispute, police said.

Keels fled but was captured hours later and charged with attempted murder, police said. Landers, 18, was taken to Bayfront Medical Center, where he died Sunday afternoon. Police did not say whether Keels will be charged in his death.

Though police have yet to discuss a connection, some residents of the area think the Landers shooting is connected to Brown's killing March 24, and to the ongoing Childs Park/Harbordale feud.

A drive-by shooter took Brown's life with a bullet to the heart. Police charged two teens — Tyree Jamel Gland, accused of being the gunman, and Raymond Adams, thought to be the driver — in Brown's death.

Lattia Morehead, Brown's aunt, said her nephew and Landers ran in the same crowd. Since Brown's killing, a schism has remained, she said, between Harbordale kids like her nephew and Landers, and Childs Park kids.

The Harbordale neighborhood lies between 22nd and 30th avenues S and Fourth and Ninth streets S. Childs Park is between First and 18th avenues S and 34th and 49th streets S.

"We'd been fearing something would happen, and it did," said Morehead, 29. "And more is going to happen."

Deandre Brown's mother said she has no evidence that the quarrel between the two camps took both her son and Landers, but her instincts tell her it has.

"It's ridiculous and I wish it would stop," said Jacqueline Morehead, 35. "I'm sick of it."

Will Van Sant can be reached at vansant@sptimes.com or 445-4166.

Slaying linked to feud in St. Petersburg, residents fear 03/16/08 [Last modified: Sunday, March 23, 2008 6:02pm]
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