Young man found shot at Manatee park, authorities need public’s help finding suspects

BRADENTON, Fla. (WFLA) – A young man was found shot in a park in the middle of the night and investigators are looking for any witnesses.

Just after midnight on February 5th, a security guard spotted something odd at Greenbrook Park in Lakewood Ranch. A young man, later identified as 23-year-old Alex Cherp, was lying in the parking lot next to his Mercedes with multiple gunshot wounds.

Cherp was rushed to a hospital and his mother, Michelle, tried her hardest to get to him.carphoto

“I was getting up to get ready to go, get to my baby, and they said he passed away,” said Michelle, holding back tears.

The young car aficionado was gone.

“I’ve been praying and I believe these bad cowards will be caught and brought to justice,” she said.

The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office needs the public to step forward. They’ve identified two possible suspects, but no arrests have been made. They’ve released a picture of Alex’s car, a grey, four-door Mercedes.

“It might just jog somebody’s memory,” said Manatee County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Dave Bristow.

Investigators are hoping somebody saw Cherp at the park that night. Authorities believe Cherp was shot sometime between 11 and 11:30 pm on Saturday, February 4th.

“Not only the victim was there, we have two suspects we believe that were right there, so we need someone to step forward and say ‘yeah, I saw two people,’” said Bristow.

Officials believe Cherp was targeted and this was not a random act. They won’t release a motive at this time.

“Please help me find who did this to my son. He was a good boy. He wanted to be an attorney. He wanted to help people, and he always was helping people,” pleaded Michelle Cherp.

Now, the family hopes someone will help them bring these killers to justice. If you remember seeing that car or seeing people at Greenbrook Park that night, give the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office a call.

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