Saturday, November 25, 2017
Public safety

One man dead, two hospitalized after shooting in St. Petersburg

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ST. PETERSBURG — A St. Petersburg man who family members say is a military veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder was arrested Saturday after police said he shot three people, one of whom died later in a local hospital.

The shooting happened just after 10 p.m. in the 4300 block of Seventh Avenue N.

The suspect, Jason Faber, 34, was taken into custody after a short pursuit. Police said that Faber has had an ongoing dispute with a neighbor who was one of the people wounded. Faber told police he believes the neighbor is a drug dealer.

On Saturday night, Faber saw that neighbor, Alexander Usher, 31, who has no criminal history in Florida, in a parked car with another person. Faber, "without any obvious provocation," fired "numerous" rounds into the car with a semiautomatic handgun, police said.

The bullets hit both men, whom police found lying in the street outside the vehicle.

"I was told by one of the investigators that he actually reloaded after one volley," said St. Petersburg Police Department spokesman Mike Puetz.

Usher suffered a gunshot wound to the lower body. Authorities said he was in fair condition at a local hospital Sunday morning.

The other person, Mackenzie Galen McConnell, 26, of Brandon was hit in the upper body. He was pronounced dead at Bayfront Medical Center about 12:30 a.m. Sunday. McConnell had been previously arrested twice on drug possession charges.

A stray bullet traveled into a home across the street, grazing the head of one of its occupants, 55-year-old David Oard. Oard's mother, Lorna McIntyre, 85, was returning to her son's house, where she's temporarily living, and saw her son with a towel to his head. He'd been watching TV on the couch when the bullet broke his front window. When she asked what happened, Oard told her not to worry and caught a ride to the hospital with friends, she said.

Police said Faber fled the scene in a silver Mazda, which they spotted about 11:30 p.m. Saturday on Gandy Boulevard N at Fourth Street. When police tried to pull Faber over, he led authorities south on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street N, west on 38th Avenue N and then headed up the northbound ramp of Interstate 275, authorities said.

A police cruiser struck Faber's car, disabling it. As officers approached the vehicle, they said Faber appeared to reach for his gun, but was restrained by officers and taken into custody.

Neither Faber nor any officers were hurt.

Pinellas County Jail records show Faber is being held without bail on a count of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted murder and a felony charge of eluding law enforcement.

Times researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report.

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