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Woman trapped in gun battle avoids bullets

Gunmen in two cars engaged in a shootout Friday night, trapping a woman who was driving a car between theirs, police said. Charlie Dunlap, who cringed in her front seat during the gunfight, wasn't injured, but was treated for hyperventilation at the scene. Then she lashed out at St. Petersburg's street violence.

What made matters worse, she said, is that she recognized one of the gunman as someone she has known for years.

"It shouldn't be like that," said Ms. Dunlap, 38. "The young people need to wake up and smell the roses because they're not smelling them right. They need to leave the guns alone. There's too many innocent people dying."

No one was seriously injured and there were no arrests. The suspects' cars sped off before police arrived. Officers found a dent from a bullet in the back of Ms. Dunlap's car.

Ms. Dunlap was waiting for the light to change at 31st Street and 18th Avenue S at about 8 p.m. when two men in a lime green Delta 88 in front of her opened fire at the car behind her.

She recognized the longtime acquaintance when he and a companion got out and crouched down outside their car to get a better aim at the car behind her.

While she huddled in her car, people standing outside ran into buildings and hit the floor until the shooting stopped, a witness said.