St. Petersburg teen shot on his birthday dies; 17-year-old arrested

Published April 21 2016
Updated April 22 2016

ST. PETERSBURG — The Lakewood High School student shot on his 18th birthday Wednesday has died, and police arrested a 17-year-old in the killing.

Maxwell Curtis Muennich was shot about 5:30 p.m. outside his house at 2121 First St. S, according to investigators. He was taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg and died about 9:30 p.m., police said.

Investigators said the shooting was targeted, though it was not a drive-by as police initially reported.

About 3 a.m. Thursday, detectives arrested Christopher Scott, 17, at his home on 21st Avenue S in connection with the killing. He faces a charge of first-degree murder. Investigators provided no further information about a motive in the case.

A woman in the driveway of Muennich's house Thursday morning declined to comment.

Neighbors said they heard one shot the previous afternoon, followed by a woman screaming.

Eric McGhan, 42, said he looked outside and saw a man lying in the driveway with a woman on top of him.

"By the time the cops came, she got off him and you saw nothing but blood on her," McGhan said.

Around the corner, Dean Wilson, 68, said he was on his porch when the commotion began.

"It was instantaneous from the shot to her screams," Wilson said.

Immediately after, he said, he thought he saw an SUV, gray or blue, drive quickly away from the area.

The next day at Scott's house, Marcus Godfrey, 18, recalled seeing his cousin taken away. Godfrey said Scott did not say anything as he was placed in handcuffs.

"He looked at me, I looked at him, and they walked him out," Godfrey said.

Scott, he said, attended Lakewood High School until leaving sometime in the last few months. A schools spokeswoman said he was listed as a student at Lakewood until March. Scott worked at Chick-fil-A and lived with his aunt, Godfrey said.

The 17-year-old had been arrested a number of times before Thursday, according to state records, on charges including burglary, criminal mischief and battery on a law enforcement officer.

Godfrey said his cousin had a temper and could get mad quickly but would generally talk out the reasons for his anger.

"Usually he would have told me he had some problems with somebody," Godfrey said.

But on Wednesday, he recalled, Scott said nothing. Godfrey said he didn't recognize Muennich's name and couldn't imagine why Scott would have had a problem with the teenager. If he could talk to his cousin, Godfrey said, he'd ask:

"What happened? And if you did do it, why?"