St. Petersburg man accused of shooting mother in face

A St. Petersburg man is accused of shooting his mother before leading police on a chase.

About 9 p.m. Thursday, Eric Garcia chased after his parents along Bryan Dairy Road, deputies said. They said he fired at least one shot from his car into theirs, hitting his mother in the face.

Deputies said his parents went looking for him after he burglarized two of their homes earlier in the week. One home is in Hernando County, the other in Pinellas Park.

Martin Cronk said he saw deputies out at the house in Pinellas Park Sunday night.

"At first we thought it was a robbery," Cronk said.

After the shooting Thursday night, deputies say Garcia did something else that put others in danger.

"At some point later in the evening he was driving recklessly along the beach communities," Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Cecilia Barreda said.

Indian Shores Police saw Garcia speeding.

Treasure Island Police began chasing Garcia in the area of 107th Avenue and Gulf Boulevard.

Eventually they caught up with him near the intersection of 66th Street and Central Avenue in St. Petersburg after deputies used stop sticks to end the chase.

Garcia's mother was treated at a hospital and released.

His father said Friday his son has mental health issues and hopes he can get the help he needs while in custody.

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