ST. PETERSBURG — Police have arrested a man accused in the fatal shooting of a woman early Thursday morning in Midtown on St. Petersburg's South side.
Police say Marco Nicholas Murray, 37, shot and killed Christina Veronica Rush, 27, on Thursday. He was taken into custody in Plant City later that day and faces charges of second-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a felon. He was also charged with a number of probation violations stemming from arrests in Pasco County.
Neighbors reported hearing an altercation and a gunshot around 1 a.m. on the 1000 block of 15th Avenue S. Officers arrived to find Rush shot and wounded in the backyard. After officers administered first aid, Rush was taken to a local hospital where she died.
Investigators believe Rush and Murray knew each other, police said. The investigation is continuing.
Rush is the fourth person fatally shot in the area in the past two weeks, police said. Just over two weeks ago, 30-year-old Charles Hixon was arrested after Cheryl Lee Casey, 58, and Kenneth Lee Shook, 35, were shot dead in an alley off 16th Street S. A few days after that, police found 58-year-old Rodney Bascomb shot in the street on 11th Street S. He died in a local hospital that day.
Residents in the area have said enough is enough.
"The killing has to stop," Starlette Clark said in October. "There are so many murders, you can’t even point them out. Every other week it seems to me there's a killing. Black or white, it doesn’t matter. All lives matter."
St. Petersburg Police Department spokeswoman Sandra Bentil said the agency has community policing efforts in place on the South side, but preventing crimes of passion can be difficult.
"It's hard to stop a homicide. You can't give tips on how to avoid it," she said. "With homicides we have to react. It's not something we can stop normally."
City-wide, there have been 19 homicides in St. Petersburg in 2018. There were 20 in 2017 and the average since 2013 has been 16 per year.
Contact Daniel Figueroa IV at [email protected] Follow @danuscripts.