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Shots Fired at St. Pete Police

While arresting a hit-and-run suspect, arresting officers were fired upon by a suspect in a sedan.

Multiple shots were fired at St. Petersburg Police officers early Wednesday morning, as they were arresting a hit-and-run suspect at 4248 4th Ave. S.

No one was injured in the incident. The suspect got away. Police are asking for help.

According to the police, at 3:47 a.m. Wednesday, a silver Toyota Camry was reported driving recklessly, heading west from the Obama Express convenience store, 1400 18th Ave. S.

The Toyota Camry had hit two vehicles in the area before leaving the scene. No one was hurt.

A short time later, at about 4:31 a.m., officers responded to several calls of "shots heard in the area" of 4th Avenue South and 42nd Street South, according to the police report.

Several St. Petersburg Police officers arrived and saw a man breaking windows at the rear of a house, at 4248 4th Ave. S.

The officers, according to police, also found a silver Toyota Camry parked at the rear of the house and determined that it was the suspect vehicle that had been involved in the two hit-and-run crashes.

The Toyota Camry had heavy damage and what appeared to be blood spattered on the exterior of the vehicle.

Police said officers arrested the man found breaking the windows and identified him as 22-year-old Travis Bruc of 3500 19th Ave. S.

Bruce, according to the police report, admitted to driving the Toyota Camry and to being responsible for the earlier hit-and-run crashes.

The Toyota Camry has been impounded and will be processed for DNA and other forensic evidence.

According to jail records, Bruce has been charged with driving while license suspended/revoked, two counts of leaving the scene of a crash involving property damage, resisting an officer without violence and criminal mischief.

Police said there appears to be an underlying domestic dispute between Bruce and another man concerning Bruce's girlfriend, who lives at 4248 4th Ave. S.

While arresting Bruce, officers were positioned around or near the house at 4248 4th Ave. S. when a man driving a sedan circled the block, passing by the house several times. 

The driver, according to the police report, verbally threatened to shoot one of the police officers, then drove around the corner toward the alley behind the home.

Moments later, several rounds were fired from the location where the sedan was last seen, and the shots were fired in the direction of the officers at the rear of the house.

Several officers at the scene heard the gunshots. One of the officers standing in the alley behind the home heard several bullets whizzing overhead, police said.

Minutes later, at about 4:51 a.m., a police supervisor spotted the
suspect's vehicle heading north on I-275, but the vehicle exited on 22nd
Avenue North and was not located.

St. Petersburg Police Detectives are actively working several leads on this case. Anyone with information about this case can call the Communications Center at 727-893-7780. Anonymous tipsters can call the Tip Line at 727-892-5000 or Text a Tip at 727-420-8911.

CJ December 26, 2012 at 05:19 PM
If they would just shut down several of the drug houses in the area south of central, west of I-275 which operate openly 24/7/365 ...I think that would be a good start to controlling activity like this..but what do I know. I just live around there and guess my opinion does not mean anything. These homes have been in operation for so long, you'd think drugs were legal. If the police would offer significant reward money for info on these homes and people firing guns around there would get people talking...there is definitely people around there that need money. I think the police are scared of these criminals. I would be too...but I did not sign up to be a cop , either. It's not my job..it's theirs. However, I do agree citizens have to offer help with info, etc. We need some cops around here willing to do their job or find a new way to make a living.
Peter J Dunlay December 26, 2012 at 06:02 PM
A description of the vehicle the Police are seeking would be helpful!
William Mansell December 26, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Unfortunately, no description of the sedan was provided.
CJ December 26, 2012 at 06:29 PM
The police should offer a reward. I realize there probably exists some sort of ''tips hotline'' etc...but a clear offer...say $100-$500...would still be cheaper that simply paying the gas for all the police cars that will be driving around investigating this. It would be money well spent if it has results.
CJ December 26, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Somehow, I think there are several people near where this happened that know exactly who did this. Reward money offered in a discreet manner in order to keep the person anonymous and safe who gives this info...could produce where this criminal is. They will catch him,
Doc Webb's Bay Post December 26, 2012 at 09:48 PM
But the Police Chief wants to put the surveillance cameras around downtown. ask those officers that got shot at where THEY would like to see some surveillance cameras. How about along 18th Avenue South. Then maybe the Police would have had some video of the vehicle involved.
CJ December 26, 2012 at 11:34 PM
I doubt the police have tipped their complete hand on this and are probably about to nail who did it. It takes a while to access them, but video camera's are located all sorts of places by not only various businesses but also by individual home owners. They have a description of the vehicle, I think, so it will not surprise me if they get who did this fairly soon. I hope so...but don't hold your breather about getting one of those cameras on 18th. Maybe they could say ''pretty please'' and ask The Outlaws...lol... who have their ''compound'' right in that area on 18th? I am pretty sure this car went right by it...and they have cameras there like Ft Knox. I won't hold my breathe about that.
Dharma December 27, 2012 at 01:18 PM
it appears as though everyone MUST have a GUN........ and they seem CALLED to use it. get rid of them. then the outlaws not only will stand out but we will clear it out.. lets not get in our own way of safety. none of these people need weapons. outside of fishing do u know anyone in this state that needs a weapon for hunting...

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