In a Clearwater Beach shooting on Monday afternoon, two men were injured and four suspects arrested after a gun fight, which followed an argument between rival gangs in the area.
According to the police, shots rang out at three separate locations in the Gulf-front community a couple of hours before sunset. Of the two men who were shot and injured, one was taken to a Tampa hospital for treatment while the other man fled on foot.
The Clearwater police released the names of four of the suspects who were arrested. They are Jeffrey Lee Holmes, 31, who was charged with shooting into an occupied structure; Terrance Antonio Kirnes, 20, for resisting an officer without violence; Jared Kashon Woodard, 18, for possession of marijuana and improper exhibition of dangerous weapon.
The fourth suspect, 20-year-old Jeffrey James Grier, will face the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office charged with possession of a firearm, drug possession and violation of probation.
As a result of the Clearwater Beach shooting, police closed two bridges temporarily, Memorial Causeway and the Sand Key Bridge, which caused massive traffic delays in the area.
The shootings apparently started in a parking lot outside the Hyatt Clearwater Beach Hotel following an argument between a large group of people. One person then went to get a gun and the shootings began.
In another incident, close to Pier 60, about two blocks away from the Hyatt, a shooting took place and the police declined to comment on a third shooting nearby. According to the police, the Clearwater Beach shootings were not random acts of violence.
Officer Castelli spoke to reporters about the incidents: “We have a lot of police presence on the beach, especially on a holiday weekend. The safety of the beach residents is of the utmost importance to us. I would bring my family here tomorrow.”
A worker at Crabby Bill’s Beach Walk Bar and Grill said employees and customers at the restaurant saw a group gathering just before the shooting: “Once the shooting started everyone started running and getting down on the ground,” she said.
The police investigation into the Clearwater Beach shootings are ongoing and a number of suspects are still at large.