Thursday, February 22, 2018
Public safety

St. Petersburg police investigate shooting at apartments

ST. PETERSBURG — A man was in critical condition after being shot Monday afternoon at the Mariners Pointe Apartments, the same complex where a security guard was killed in 2011.

Authorities got several calls about 12:30 p.m. When officers and fire-rescue workers arrived at the complex, 1175 Pinellas Point Drive S, they found the victim, Tieyannie Dewitte Hollis, 31, in front of Building 36.

"Officers that got here found a male with serious wounds to the upper body," said Sgt. Dave Gerrardo. Neighbors said Hollis was struck in the head.

"He was laying there bleeding, on his stomach," said Yvette Forrest, 51. "He was breathing real hard."

Forrest and others said the shooting was a drive-by. Police said Hollis was standing outside when he was approached by at least one person.

Forrest said her boyfriend, who is visually impaired, was sitting outside their apartment a couple of buildings over when he heard the shots. He ran inside, and Forrest looked out the window.

She said she saw a green sedan speeding out of the apartment complex.

"I got really scared," said Forrest, who has lived at the apartments for only a few months. "I'd never seen anything like that before."

Hollis was taken to Bayfront Medical Center. He underwent surgery Monday afternoon.

Details about the incident were scarce. Police did not release a possible motive or any information about a suspect. They said Hollis was visiting the complex.

Mariners Pointe is no stranger to law enforcement.

After the May 2011 killing of security guard Matthew Little, St. Petersburg police created a program to emphasize safety and security at the city's apartment complexes.

The program is the first of its kind among the larger of the Tampa Bay area's law enforcement agencies, and it currently has two participants: Camden Lakes and Carlton Arms, which completed a training session for apartment management, an evaluation of the property and a crime prevention meeting with residents.

Officials from Mariners Pointe attended an introductory meeting about the program but never signed up, police said Monday.

Police have responded to hundreds of calls for service at the complex in the past 18 months, but it was unclear Monday how many of those incidents were serious.

Several residents said they didn't feel safe after Monday's shooting and were going to move.

They were afraid to give their names.

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