Friday, February 23, 2018
Public safety

St. Petersburg police investigate possible homicide after teen walking to bus stop finds body

ST. PETERSBURG — A 32-year-old man was killed at the Alta Mar at Broadwater Apartments on 34th Terrace S early Thursday, police said.

The man, Shermaun Akins, lived in the complex, investigators said. A teenager discovered his body near the parking lot.

Sanita Gibson, 48, said her son was on his way to the bus stop about 5:30 a.m. He had just kissed her goodbye when her phone rang.

"Mom, I see a body in the street, and I think he's dead," he told her.

She told him not to touch anything and continue on to his bus stop.

Gibson said she called police and drove over to the scene. There, she walked along a curb stop to where she saw a man lying in a road that runs through Alta Mar. He was dressed only in boxer shorts, steps away from a white Chrysler Sebring that was still running.

"You can see the driver's side. It's all bloody," Gibson said. "He was completely bloody head to toe."

Police said Akins died of "upper-body trauma" but did not describe his wounds further.

Gibson said she recognized the man as one of her neighbors but didn't know his name. She said she knocked on his door and told a woman inside that the man might have been hurt. Gibson said she drove the woman over to the scene.

"She was hysterical," Gibson said.

Akins' family could not be reached for comment Thursday afternoon.

The complex is usually safe, said Gibson, who has lived there for nine years. But sometimes people come in who are not residents to use the pool, and occasionally they bring trouble, she said.

Another neighbor, Lyndora Dukes, 50, said she has lived at Alta Mar for a decade and always feels safe.

"I never had problems," she said. "It would be the people that come in here. For some reason, they bring stolen cars here."

Investigators were working quickly at the crime scene before the rain started Thursday morning.

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