Shots fired at St. Pete Police during arrest, gunman still at large

12:33 PM, Dec 26, 2012   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida -- Police in St. Petersburg said several shots were fired at them early Wednesday morning as they were making an arrest, but no one was injured.

Shortly before 4 a.m., a car was seen driving recklessly as it left the Obama Express convenience store, located at 1400 18th Avenue South. The driver of the Toyota Camry got into two crashes as he left the area.

Then at about 4:30 a.m, St. Petersburg Police Officers responded to several calls of "shots heard in the area" of 4th Avenue South and 42nd Street South.

Arriving officers saw a man breaking windows in the back of a home. The Toyota Camry that had been involved in the earlier hit and run crashes at the Obama Express was also seen parked behind the house.

Police say the car had heavy damage on it and what appeared to be blood-splatter on its exterior. However, police said no injuries had been reported in the hit and run crashes.

Police say the man who was seen breaking out the windows, 22-year-old Travis Bruce, admitted to being the driver of the Camry. He was arrested on numerous charges, including two counts of leaving the scene of a crash with property damage and criminal mischief.

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

Police say Bruce's girlfriend lives in the house he was breaking windows out of. Based on preliminary information, investigators believe there was an underlying domestic dispute going on between Bruce and another man over the girlfriend.

As Bruce was being arrested, several officers saw a sedan circling the block, passing by the house several times.

At one point, the driver of the sedan verbally threatened to shoot one of the police officers. He then drove around the corner toward the alley behind the home.  Moments later, several rounds were fired from that location, toward the ofifcers.

No one was injured.

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

The driver of the sedan was described as a black male, with close cut hair and a light complexion.

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

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