Man found dead in van after Manatee County shootout

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UPDATE: Napoleon Hale, 37, has been charged with murder in this case.

Hale and another man, who has not been charged, told deputies they were inside a residence when Cooper and another man came to the address and demanded money. Hale told deputies this led to a shootout.

PREVIOUS STORY: MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A man was found dead in the backseat of a van after a shootout in a Bradenton neighborhood. Manatee County deputies say at around 2:40 p.m. two suspects in a white SUV charged into a home on 61st Avenue Drive East.

They then exchanged gunfire with two men inside the home. The men inside the home say they were playing video games when the suspects started a fight, deputies said.

The shootout spilled into the street, and one suspect hopped back into the white SUV to drive off as bullets sailed toward him.

He then crashed the SUV into a ditch. So the man hopped out, and deputies say, he hobbled over and climbed into the backseat of a van with two unsuspecting girls inside. The girls were not involved in the shooting incident.

That suspect died of his injuries soon after. He’s been identified as Kenye Cooper Sr., 26.

The other suspect is still on the loose.

Officials said charges are pending. Detectives are interviewing the men inside the home. Drug paraphernalia was found inside that residence.

Anyone with information should call the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office at 941-747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at 866-634-TIPS. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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