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Teen arrested on charges of shooting at Tampa officers in Grant Park, police say

The shooting happened Tuesday night on the 3600 block of 54th Street as the officers were patrolling in an unmarked car, police said.
A photo released by the Tampa Police Department shows damage to an unmarked police car caused by a round fired at officers who were patrolling in the Grant Park neighborhood Tuesday night, according to police. No one was injured in the shooting.
A photo released by the Tampa Police Department shows damage to an unmarked police car caused by a round fired at officers who were patrolling in the Grant Park neighborhood Tuesday night, according to police. No one was injured in the shooting. [ The Tampa Police Department ]
Published Jan. 18|Updated Jan. 18

A 16-year-old was arrested on charges that he shot at three Tampa police officers Tuesday night in the Grant Park neighborhood, according to police.

The Tampa Police Department announced the teen’s arrest in a news release Wednesday. The 16-year-old is facing three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, police said.

The officers, who are part of the department’s Street Anti-Crime squad, were patrolling on the 3600 block of 54th Street in an unmarked car and in plain clothes about 5:40 p.m., according to a news release from Tampa police. As the officers drove south on 54th Street, someone in a group gathered outside a home shot toward the officers, striking their car and causing minor damage, police said.

The group dispersed and fled the area on foot. The officers did not shoot back and no one was injured, police said.

Officers later identified a 16-year-old as the shooter based on information from neighbors, community members and through other investigative methods, police said.

Police also found a gun at a nearby home where the 16-year-old tried to hide it, police said. Another teen, a 17-year-old who was with the 16-year-old at the time of his arrest, was arrested on active warrants unrelated to the shooting. The 17-year-old is facing multiple charges — aggravated battery with a firearm causing great bodily harm, robbery with a firearm and attempted murder in the first degree.

The 17-year-old also had a gun, police said.

The Tampa Bay Times is not naming either teen because of their ages.

Tampa interim police Chief Lee Bercaw thanked the public for coming forward with information on the incident.

Police said the investigation is ongoing.

The department’s Street Anti-Crime squads focus on “high crime areas,” according to the city of Tampa’s website. Officers on the squads have knowledge of repeat offenders and crime patterns in a particular region so the squad “can more rapidly identify suspects, solve crimes and prevent additional crimes from occurring,” the website states.