ST. PETERSBURG — Authorities said a young woman visiting from Pittsburgh was the person killed Thursday night during a police chase that followed a dollar store robbery.
Dijon Senay Jackson, 19, was a passenger in a car that crashed into a tree at about 8:15 p.m. on 15th Avenue near 40th Street S.
Police were chasing the silver Chevrolet Monte Carlo because they believed its occupants had robbed Family Dollar, 1720 16th St. N., about 20 minutes earlier.
It was unclear what, if any, role Jackson may have played in the robbery.
Detectives do believe the car's driver, identified as Alfonso Eugene Mackey, 31, of St. Petersburg, was one of two men who robbed the store at gunpoint.
Jackson died at the scene of the crash. Mackey was taken to Bayfront Medical Center with traumatic injuries. The second robber, whose face was covered, fled the crash scene and has not been found.
Police said the robbery happened about 7:55 p.m. Thursday. A customer at the dollar store called police and said two men were robbing the clerk and a shot had been fired.
A witness got a description of a get-away car. About 10 minutes later, undercover detectives spotted the car near Fifth Avenue and 28th Street S. Police saw three people inside, but then lost sight of it.
Marked cruisers spotted it near Sixth Avenue and 44th Street S, but the driver would not stop.
The car crashed about nine blocks away. Both Mackey and Jackson were trapped inside and had to be pulled out by firefighters.
Police said they found a gun in the car that matches a description of the long barreled pistol used in the robbery. They also found cigarettes, taken from the store, inside.
Investigators still aren't sure whether Jackson was part of the robbery.
"It's not clear at this point where she was during the robbery," police spokesman Mike Puetz said. "Whether she was in the car during it or joined up with Mackey later."
Police said it appeared the second robber was talking on a cell phone during the incident. That man is described as a dark-skinned black male, in his 20s or 30s wearing a black jacket with red around the collar and down the front, faded blue jeans and a black New York Yankees baseball cap.
He had a black cloth covering over his face. Police believe he may have gotten out of the vehicle at some point.
Records show Mackey was released from prison in October, after serving nearly 10 years in prison for carjacking with a deadly weapon.
Authorities expect to charge Mackey with armed robbery, fleeing and eluding and other charges related to the fatality once he is released from the hospital.