Saturday, February 24, 2018
Public safety

St. Petersburg police looking for man they say shot at them during arrest

ST. PETERSBURG — Police are searching for a man they say shot at several officers early Wednesday morning.

No one was injured in the incident, which happened just before 5 a.m. in the 4200 block of Fourth Avenue S.

Police had tracked a hit-and-run suspect to a house there. As they arrested a person in that case, a man in a dark sedan circled the block several times, shouting threats at officers positioned around the home.

The man drove into the alley, and that's when the gunshots started.

Several officers heard them, police spokesman Bill Proffitt said, and one officer who was positioned at the back of the house reported bullets whizzed over his head. None of the officers returned fire.

A police supervisor saw the same car several minutes later on northbound Interstate 275, Proffitt said, but lost sight of it after it exited at 22nd Avenue N.

Police did not have a detailed description of the car or its driver Wednesday.

Proffitt said the incident began about 3:45 a.m. when officers spotted a silver Toyota Camry driving "recklessly" near the Obama Express convenience store, 1400 18th Ave. S.

The car, police said, had committed two hit-and-run crashes involving property damage.

It crashed into a 2006 Ford sedan at 18th Avenue S and 16th Street, authorities said, and knocked off a side mirror of a 1992 Ford sedan at 18th Avenue S and 21st Street.

Less than an hour later, at about 4:30 a.m., several residents called to report hearing gunshots around Fourth Avenue S and 42nd Street.

Police spotted a man breaking windows at 4248 Fourth Ave. S. A heavily damaged silver Toyota Camry was parked in the back.

They confronted a man inside the home, identified as Travis Bruce, 22, of St. Petersburg, who admitted he drove and crashed the Camry. The home he broke into belonged to his girlfriend, police said.

Bruce was arrested on charges of driving with a suspended or revoked license, leaving the scene of a crash, resisting arrest and criminal mischief.

Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to call (727) 893-7780 or the anonymous tip line at (727) 892-5000.

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