Two shot in fight behind Hiro's Tokyo Steakhouse in St. Petersburg

11:55 AM, Jul 3, 2013   |    comments
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Photo Gallery: PHOTOS: Two shot in fight behind St. Pete restaurant


St. Petersburg, Florida -- A squabble between high schoolers behind a restaurant leads to a shooting where a young woman bystander was hit.

The teens clashed behind Hiro's Tokyo Steakhouse and Sushi Bar in the 5200 block of 4th Street N. in St. Petersburg.

PHOTOS: Two shot in fight behind St. Pete restaurant

Two groups of high schoolers were trying to settle a score when a young woman got caught in the crossfire -- that's the story we've heard from other teens who came to the scene shortly after the shooting.

The recently built shopping center that houses Hiro's, called Mainstream Station, is typically still buzzing at around midnight, with a bar called Social at one end and Hiro's Steakhouse and Bar at the other.

But at around midnight Tuesday, in the parking lot behind Hiro's, the crack of gunfire split the air.

Groups of high schoolers struggled with each other.

And then a flood of more than a dozen St. Petersburg police cars swarmed the scene.

By the time the chaos was over, a young man had been shot in the leg and a high-school-age woman who a friend says was leaning against a car, away from the action, was hit in the head by a bullet.

Follow 10 News Reporter Grayson Kamm on twitter @graysonkamm

We talked with other teens whose friends were involved in the shooting. A warning: their description of what happened may be disturbing.

"All I heard was that she got shot in the head and blood was leaking from the side of her head. She was leaning on a car, saying, 'I've been shot,'" said Marquis Boatman, who says he knows the shooting victim.

"I guess they were in the back of Hiro's trying to squash the beef between the two groups or whatever, and then it just escalated from there. And then someone shot in the air, and it all just went from there."

Down the street, police cruisers also rushed to an Exxon gas station. They secured a car there that officers on the scene told us is related to the shooting at Hiro's.

Police did have at least one person locked in the back of a patrol car during their investigation. However, it's not clear whether they've rounded up everyone involved.

The people who were shot were both alive and alert when they were taken to the hospital. People at the shooting scene said their injuries, amazingly, did not look to be life-threatening.

Robert Heyman, an attorney for Hiro's, tells 10 News there have been no notable security problems at the restaurant in the past. 

Heyman adds that the owner is going to hire off-duty police officers for security starting Wednesday night, and that he would expect the shopping center's owner will add more security cameras in the future.

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