Tourists unnerved by Gulf Blvd. drive-by shootings

The two shootings are believed to be related, and police are still seeking suspects.

"That's just crazy."

Sunday's cooler weather in St. Pete Beach didn't bother two tourists from Cincinnati. What irked them was knowing that a man visiting from Texas was shot in the chest as he walked in the area the night before.

"This is obviously a vacation place for families and fun," said Christian Faulkner. "That's probably one of the last things I thought would happen around here."

The 51-year-old victim, who police said was in town from Dallas, was walking with his cousin near the Beachcomber Resort shortly after midnight Saturday when he was shot. The two told police they thought they heard firecrackers before realizing what had actually happened. The man grabbed his chest and was able to get to the hotel and get help.

Larry Carey, also visiting from Ohio, saw the aftermath of the shooting.

"I seen the security guards take off, running up front," he said. "We were over across here, went up to get a drink, we had just walked into the room and heard people ... screaming and yelling about it."

The man shot, who 10News contacted on Sunday, did not want to speak about what happened but said he was recovering fine.

Police soon discovered just 30 minutes before that, roughly two miles up the road in Treasure Island, there was a similar shooting. This time, an Uber driver's rear car window was shot out as she was picking up a passenger. The driver reported thinking an object had been thrown at her vehicle by someone in a passing car. It was later determined it was a bullet shot from a gun.

Neither the driver, nor her passenger were injured.

A white vehicle seen driving by afterward matched the vehicle the Texas man spotted after the shooting in St. Pete Beach.

Police obtained and a released a surveillance image taken from a camera on a Treasure Island home near the scene on Gulf Boulevard. 

It's the same white sedan that was also spotted a third time Saturday night. A caller reported seeing four people inside, no headlights on and what looked like a rifle sticking out of the window, police said.

Police now hoping someone spots it again and soon --  before anyone else gets hurt, or worse.

The only description of the driver was that he was a white or Hispanic male.

If you have any information on this case, you’re asked to call Treasure Island police at (727) 547-4595 or  St. Pete Beach police at (727) 893-7780.

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