ST. PETERSBURG — A 19-year-old man was shot and killed by his girlfriend after an argument in their garage apartment Thursday morning, police said.
Deshana Monice Goss, 19, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder in the death of Branden Allen Wilde. She was being held without bail at the Pinellas County Jail on Thursday night.
Neighbors told police they heard two people arguing about 9 a.m. inside 2035 ½ 28th Ave. N. At 9:39, neighbors heard a single gunshot, police said.
Goss walked out into the alley, screaming. She was holding a .38-caliber automatic handgun.
"She just said, 'I shot him, I shot him, I shot him,' " said neighbor Martha Criste, 85.
With a phone in hand, Criste asked Goss if she needed help. Goss dropped the gun and sat down by a small tree until authorities arrived, police and witnesses said.
Wilde was still alive when police arrived at the apartment. He was lying on the dining room floor and had been shot in the face, police said. Paramedics took him to Bayfront Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 10:38 a.m., police said.
During questioning by detectives, Goss said her boyfriend was unarmed when she shot him, according to an arrest affidavit.
They had been together for two years, relatives said, and met while Wilde was a neighbor of Goss' mother. Six months after they both turned 18, they moved in together. Goss had "Branden" tattooed on her right arm. She told her mother she loved him.
The young couple had a long history of fights, particularly in the past few months, family members said. On Oct. 24, St. Petersburg police came to the home after Goss made a domestic battery complaint against Wilde.
Police said Goss was not hurt, however. Wilde told officers that his girlfriend "would not get out of his face," so he pushed her back, police said. Police took no action that day.
Goss' mother said she knew things were escalating. She tried to get her daughter to leave Wilde, but they always got back together. She knew there was a gun in the home.
"I've been trying to talk to her, to get her to stay away (from him) because it was either he was going to hurt her or she was going to hurt him," said Shigeta Goss-Dixon, 38, of St. Petersburg.
Goss-Dixon said her daughter recently received certification as a nurse's assistant and wanted to join the Army. Both Goss and Wilde were unemployed, she said.
"If I could turn back the hands of time, I would," Goss-Dixon said. "My heart goes out to his parents. I wanted him away from us, but never like this, never like this."
A man who answered the phone at Wilde's father's home declined to comment.
Times researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this report. Luis Perez can be reached at (727) 892-2271 or firstname.lastname@example.org.