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St. Petersburg police officer shoots two suspects after car chase

ST. PETERSBURG — Monday morning began with a crowd so big police were called to break it up. Then another crowd gathered about a mile away. Then came gunfire, followed by a police chase that ended with four people running away.

One of the four pulled out a handgun, police said, and was shot by a police officer, along with another suspect.

In all, three people were shot and two were arrested.

And a Hello Kitty bookbag stuffed with ski masks, gloves, two handguns, flashlights and a rope was left behind that no one was willing to claim.

The wild morning began just after closing time at Club One South, 1833 First Ave. S. Police were called to break up a large crowd milling outside the club.

Many in the crowd moved about a mile away, near a vacant lot next to Choice Food Store, 3401 Fifth Avenue S. Police, who were called to monitor the crowd, heard gunshots at 3:16 a.m., though it was unclear exactly where the shots were fired.

Zantrelle Walton, 31, was shot in the shoulder, police said. He was treated at Bayfront Medical Center and released. He said he didn't see who shot him.

Police saw a Buick speed away right after the shooting. Believing the people in the Buick were involved in the shooting, police gave chase. They followed the Buick until it crashed into a telephone pole at 26th Avenue S and 30th Street.

Police Officer Nicolo Mangiaracina, a two-year veteran, stopped his vehicle near the crash and got out. He saw four men run from the Buick. One of them, Emmanuel Smith, 20, pulled a gun from his waistband, police said.

Mangiaracina, 32, fired multiple times. Smith and Raynard Yates, 19, were hit but continued to run.

A police dog helped find Sharrod Clinton, 21, and Peyton Klein, 19, police said. Clinton, who was hiding in some bushes, was bitten by the dog. Klein was found in a laundry room at 2431 28th Street S.

Smith turned up at Bayfront Medical Center with a bullet wound to the shoulder about three hours after the pursuit. He was treated and arrested.

He told detectives he pulled out the gun as he was confronted by Officer Mangiaracina, police said. He denied trying to shoot him. Police found the handgun, a .25-caliber automatic, in a nearby yard.

Yates, the fourth man in the vehicle, was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa with a bullet wound to the shoulder. He told detectives he was in the car with the other men and was shot by the officer as he fled. He was treated and released.

No witnesses tied the four men, all from St. Petersburg, to the earlier shooting.

The Buick belonged to John Bell, who earlier this month reported that he loaned it to a woman he knew only as "White Chocolate" and never got it back. He didn't know how the men got it early Monday.

The Hello Kitty book bag with the masks and other items was found outside the Buick, police said. Detectives were trying to connect the men with the items.

All four men said they knew nothing about them.

The four men involved in a chase also denied shooting Walton.

Clinton, the driver, faces a charge of fleeing and eluding and possession of marijuana. He also had outstanding warrants for burglary and grand theft.

Smith faces a charge of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and carrying a concealed firearm.

No other charges were filed.

St. Petersburg police officer shoots two suspects after car chase 09/12/11 [Last modified: Monday, September 12, 2011 11:25pm]
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