CLEARWATER — Officers arrested a 50-year-old man accused of shooting another man 17 times Saturday night during an argument outside a convenience store.
According to Clearwater police, Anthony James Roy was arguing with Bernard Antonio Richards, 31, outside the Stop-N-Shop convenience store near the corner of S Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and Woodlawn Street at about 10 p.m.
Roy then shot Richards 17 times and kicked him while he was laying on the sidewalk, investigators said.
Authorities arrested Roy early Sunday on a first-degree murder charge and booked him into the Pinellas County Jail. His bail had not been set as of Sunday evening.
On Sunday, store customers, many of them walking over from houses nearby, bought snacks and drinks. A memorial with balloons, teddy bears and flowers sat on the sidewalk outside the door where Richards was shot.
It was a store where the workers knew most people who came in, including both men involved in the shooting, said Eugene Wise, who was working there Saturday night. He heard Roy yelling while he was washing rags at a laundromat next door. Inside, Redouan Bousntra was tending to three customers with another worker.
Wise returned to the store through a back door. The gunshots started soon after that, he said.
"All of a sudden, 'Pap! Pap!" Wise, 57, said inside the store Sunday afternoon.
The rest of the shots came in rapid succession as Wise and the customers darted behind the ice machine and Bousntra and the other worker ducked behind the counter. Bousntra, 40, said he couldn't keep track of how many shots there were.
"I couldn't count them because I was scared," he said.
"It was rapid fire," Wise added.
Neither man knew what caused the fight, they said. State records show Roy was arrested once before in May for battery. Richards has been arrested almost 30 times for charges including cocaine sale, domestic battery and aggravated assault.
At the store, Wise walked out and turned toward the memorial, where a vase of flowers with balloons tied on had toppled in the wind. He turned it upright, stared down for a moment, then walked away.
Contact Kathryn Varn at (727) 893-8913 or email@example.com. Follow @kathrynvarn.