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Teen badly injured in gunfire at St. Petersburg birthday party

Published Apr. 29, 2013

ST. PETERSBURG — A birthday party that drew 150 people Saturday night to a St. Petersburg neighborhood erupted in gunfire, sending four children between the ages of 12 and 15 to hospitals, authorities said.

One of them, a 15-year-old boy, was in critical but stable condition Sunday evening, police said.

St. Petersburg officers who were already near the neighborhood received a report of a shooting about 10:30 p.m. in the 3600 block of Third Avenue S. When they arrived, they tried to disperse the large crowd and found shell casings from more than one gun — but no victims.

As officers were still investigating, two gunshot victims showed up at Bayfront Medical Center and two more at All Children's Hospital, police said.

The injured were two 15-year-old boys, a 13-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy. Their names have not been released.

Three suffered what police described as non-life-threatening injuries.

Investigators determined that a person in a car outside the party had fired shots into the air. A person at the party then shot at the car, striking two 15-year-old boys. A boy and a girl at the party were also struck, but police said it was unclear if the gunshots came from the car or someone else at the party.

At the address police reported for the party, residents said Sunday they had not hosted any gathering there and pointed to a house across the street instead. No one answered the door at that house, and other neighbors either had no comment or didn't answer the door.

A St. Petersburg police spokesman said the gunfire may have been "prompted by an ongoing rivalry between two neighborhood groups."

Police said they have not yet made any arrests in the case, which they are investigating as attempted second-degree murder.

Staff writer Brittany Alana Davis contributed to this report.


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