PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Police believe two drive-by shootings on Gulf Boulevard in Pinellas County could be related. The area is a popular tourist destination. One shooting happened Friday night in Treasure Island. The second one happened less than 1/2 hour later in St. Pete Beach.
A man from Texas was shot as he was walking on a sidewalk near a St. Pete Beach hotel. Investigators say Kurt Alan Lang, 51, of Dallas, was walking with his cousin on the west side of Gulf Boulevard near the Beachcomber Beach Resort Hotel around midnight Saturday when he heard something that sounded like a firecracker. Lang then grabbed his chest and realized that he had been shot.
Lang suffered non life-threatening injuries. He walked to the Beachcomber hotel at 6200 Gulf Blvd. and called 911.
Lang told Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office deputies he saw a white vehicle driving at a normal speed at the time he was shot.
About an hour later, deputies responded to another call in the area of 6850 Beach Plaza in St. Pete Beach. The caller reported that a white Chevy Impala with four people in it was driving around without headlights on and the driver was partially out the window and may have had a rifle.
The driver was only described as possibly a Hispanic or white male. The caller was not able to provide a detailed description of the suspect. This incident was called in one hour after Lang had been shot. The caller said he saw the emergency vehicles and decided to make a late report to deputies.
Treasure Island police say they received a 911 call at 11:52 p.m. on Friday about someone throwing an object at an Uber driver in the 10000 block of Gulf Boulevard. The female Uber driver was picking up a fare in the area and said someone passing by in a white vehicle threw an object at her vehicle.
At the time of the incident, the victim was parked on the side of Gulf Boulevard and her fare entered the vehicle sitting in the front passenger seat. Before pulling away, a white sedan with dark window tint was traveling southbound and reportedly threw something at the victim’s vehicle, creating a hole in the rear driver’s side, passenger door window. The window was shattered, and the projectile went through the tinted window. The driver and passenger were not injured.
Treasure Island police then learned about the drive-by shooting in St. Pete Beach and conducted a forensic examination that found the damage to the passenger window was caused by a firearm. Treasure Island police say it appears the St. Pete Beach and Treasure Island incidents may be related.
A resident at the Treasure Island scene had video surveillance and an image of the suspect vehicle was captured. Video footage confirms a white sedan was used in the crime in Treasure Island.
If you have any information on either incident, or if you have information that would help investigators, please call the Treasure Island Police Department at (727) 547-4595. If you should observe any suspicious activity in your neighborhood, such as a vehicle being driven without headlights or a vehicle circling the area, please immediately call and report the incident to your local law enforcement.
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