Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tarpon Springs teen recalls getting shot while struggling with mugger

TARPON SPRINGS — Bradley Edward Perez was on the ground.

The 19-year-old could barely pull his cellphone from the pocket of his favorite pants.

"Momma," he said, "I don't know if I got shot or stabbed but there's a lot of blood."

His mom called police, then threw her electric wheelchair into its highest speed. She went nearly a mile to where her son was shot Saturday night, near a convenience store where he walked to buy cigarettes for her.

The shooter ran after the robbery attempt. Police hadn't identified a suspect Monday.

As Perez recalled it, the man had skulked near Tarpon and Walton avenues about 9:30 p.m. Perez and his friend, a 16-year-old girl, walked by. The man gestured for them to go into a darkened driveway, flashing a gun the color of polished chrome.

Perez doesn't remember exactly how, but he tried to grab the gun. That's when he got shot, the bullet entering and exiting through his left side.

He was flown to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, where the nursing student had once done an internship. He looked for people he knew but saw none.

Monday, the teenager peeled back gauze to reveal two round punctures. It hurt to sit down, he said, groaning when he stood up.

Though he spent the day resting and eating brownies for breakfast, Perez wanted to get back to work. Dreaming of becoming a nurse, he's a certified nursing assistant at a Clearwater assisted living facility.

Now he thinks maybe he shouldn't have gone for the gun: "It was pretty stupid to do it."

But his mother smiled.

"I'm proud of him, though," she said, "for protecting that girl."

Police continue to search for the assailant, whom they describe as in his early 30s, about 5-foot-3 to 5-foot-5, and between 130 and 150 pounds. He wore a gray or blue hoodie, police said.

Stephanie Wang can be reached at (727) 445-4155 or

Tarpon Springs teen recalls getting shot while struggling with mugger 10/08/12 [Last modified: Monday, October 8, 2012 8:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Police: Uber driver's gun discharges during fight at Adventure Island in Tampa

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — An Uber driver's gun went off Sunday at Adventure Island during a fight between the driver and two passengers.

  2. Baker cautious on Pride politics


    Rick and Joyce Baker strode down Central Avenue Sunday amid rainbow flags, corporate booths, and blaring music of the St. Pete Pride Festival.

    St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Rick Baker chats Sunday with people at the St. Pete Pride Festival. As mayor, Baker did not sign a Pride parade proclamation, but now he says he would.
  3. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.
  4. Lightning among early suitors for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said he planned to explore free agency for potential needs, which include bolstering his blue line and adding a wing or two.

    Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who can be a free agent Saturday, counts the Lightning among his early suitors.
  5. Senate leaders try to appease members as support for health bill slips


    WASHINGTON — Senate Republican leaders scrambled Sunday to rally support for their health care bill, even as opposition continued to build outside Congress and two Republican senators questioned whether the bill would be approved this week.

    Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday, is one of the five Republican senators who announced they cannot support the health care bill as drafted.