ST. PETERSBURG, Fla (WFLA) — Celebratory gunfire is being blamed in a rash of incidents in St. Petersburg on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. One of the incidents involved a AK-47 style rifle.
The rifle was among the weapons confiscated by St. Petersburg Police Department Officers who responded to two incidents involving New Year’s celebratory gunfire.
Five people were arrested in connection with the celebratory gunfire.
In the first case, officers responded to a call about males in the area with guns
at about 12:30 am on Jan. 1. at 2609 3rd Avenue South.
As officers approached the scene, shots were fired in the area. A search found four men in front of the address. Police say two of the men had rifles.
When approached by officers, the four men ran away. All were caught. Police recovered one rifle, one carbine and one handgun. Police say numerous shell casings lined 3rd Avenue South indicating that the men had been engaged in celebratory gunfire. One of the firearms was discovered to be stolen.
The four men were arrested on the following charges-
Harari Ra’sharde Sandy, 28, of St. Petersburg: Charged with Improper Exhibition of a Firearm and Obstruction
Samuel Madison Lavine, 19, of St. Petersburg: Charged with Possession of Marijuana and Obstruction
Arron Jordon Woody, 26, of St. Petersburg: Charged with Obstruction
Elijah Dreshaud Johnson, 20, St. Petersburg: Charged with Grand Theft of a Firearm, Improper Exhibition of a Firearm and Obstruction
Officers responded to the second incident at about 2:00 am after receiving a call about a male shooting a rifle at 640 29th Street South. Officers found numerous shell casings on the ground and the male suspect sitting in a red Monte Carlo parked in front of the address. An AK-47 style rifle was observed in the back seat in plain view.
Officers asked the man about the weapon, but he refused to provide any info and was taken into custody. He was identified as Arron Rodriguez Hinson, 32, of St. Petersburg. He was arrested and charged with obstruction and felon in possession of a firearm.
A teen was injured in a separate incident involving New Year’s celebratory gunfire in St. Pete.
St. Petersburg police believe the front window of an officer’s cruiser was shattered by celebratory gunfire. At about 10:30 p.m. on Dec. 31, an officer noticed the shattered window when he was about to get into the vehicle which was parked in the north parking lot of police headquarters at 1300 1st Avenue North. There are no suspects in the case.
Two photos of the cruiser and damage are attached.