Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Public safety

St. Petersburg man accused of shooting mom in face during car chase

A St. Petersburg man was arrested on attempted murder charges Thursday after deputies said he shot his mother in the face while chasing her in a car.

Eric James Garcia, 22, fired into his parents' vehicle around 98th Street and Bryan Dairy Road in Pinellas Park on Thursday night, a Pinellas sheriff's office report states. A bullet struck his mother, 62-year-old Renee Garcia, who was driving, in the face. Garcia "continued to drive and transported herself to Largo Medical for treatment," the report states.

Deputies said Renee Garcia and her husband, Luis, 59, were searching for their son because he burglarized their homes in Hernando County and Pinellas Park. He also set the Hernando County home on fire, deputies said.

The Garcias went looking for Eric after calling police to report the incidents, deputies said. They found him near Sunrise Drive and Bryan Dairy Road, and Eric began chasing his parents in his car, shooting his mother during the pursuit.

While at the hospital with his wife, who was not critically injured, Luis Garcia also reported receiving a threatening call from Eric.

Authorities later spotted him speeding, they said, and pursued him until he reached 107th Avenue and Gulf Boulevard, where deputies deployed stop sticks.

He was arrested on multiple charges, including two counts of attempted murder, two counts of aggravated assault with a motor vehicle, two counts of firing a deadly missile into an occupied vehicle and a single count of marijuana possession.

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