TAMPA — Sunday morning wasn't the first time Ahmaud Black survived a gunshot in Ybor City.
In May 2007, when he was 15, Black got shot four times — by Tampa police officers.
Back then, undercover officers were hiding in a minivan, staking out Ybor streets following a string of auto burglaries. That's when they spotted Black and several others trying to rob a man at gunpoint, said police spokeswoman Andrea Davis.
When the officers jumped out and confronted them, Black was holding the gun, which he did not put down, Davis said. The officers fired.
Black, now 19, recovered from his wounds and ended up with a three-year prison sentence for the attempted armed robbery. He was released earlier this year and still on probation when he and another man were shot Sunday inside Club Empire in Ybor City.
The other victim, Leslie Jerome Jones Jr., 20, died.
He had been shot before, too.
Just two years ago, Jones survived bullets to his wrist, foot and thigh after a gunman opened fire on him while he was playing a game of dice at Jackson Court Apartments.
Police have made no arrests in the nightclub shootings and are asking for the public's help.
Black's mother, Eva Lumpkin, said her son is in worse shape now than when he got shot four times. She said he couldn't talk when she went to visit him at the hospital, but his friends told her they had stopped by the club for just a few minutes. They said they had no idea who the gunman was.
Lumpkin said her son had been trying to find a job since his release. She said he'd been getting down about his prospects.
"He said, 'Mama, I'm trying, but they know my background' " she said. "He was feeling really sorry for himself."
But she said he'd started dating a nice girl and going to church. "He ushered last Sunday," she said. She said her son had written her from prison many times, saying he regretted what he'd done to end up there.
He was arrested for violating his probation in August, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
Lumpkin said that, somehow, the early morning call Sunday that her son had been shot — again — did not throw her in a panic.
"I was just as calm as I could be," she said, recalling that she brushed her teeth, changed clothes, combed her hair and left for the hospital.
As a baby, Black survived two car crashes with barely a scratch, said his mother. Then the four bullets as a 15-year-old. And now this.
She said she thinks he'll turn things around.
"He's got to," she said. "God's got something for him to do."
Reach Jodie Tillman at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 226-3374.