Man shot twice fending off purse snatcher

St. Petersburg police are searching for a robber who shot a man twice Friday while trying to take a woman’s purse.
 
"I've got a through and through in the wrist, and I've got a bullet still in me," said Gary Trangas, 66, describing his wounds to ABC Action News after he returned home from the hospital. 
 
The shooting occurred about 1:30 p.m. at 3212 33rd Ave. N. in St. Petersburg. Trangas and his girlfriend, Lagrimes Porquia, were leaving their house to go to a doctor’s appointment when an armed man approached on a bicycle.
 
"He just pulled a gun saying, 'Give me your purse,'" said Porquia, 65. 
 
He began pulling at the woman’s purse while pistol whipping her in the head, police said.
 
Trangas immediately grabbed a shovel out of his backseat to defend the woman. 
 
"I didn't take time to think. I just wanted to make sure she was safe," he said. 
 
Police said that's when the suspect shot him and took off without the purse. He was last seen heading east on 33rd Avenue North. 
 
Trangas said he didn't realize he'd been shot until he saw the blood. But two doors down, his neighbor, Chris Bower, heard everything.
 
"It was just like a 'pop pop' and then two more real quick afterwards," Bower said. 
 
At first, Bower thought the sounds were fireworks until he looked outside and heard the screams. 
 
Trangas told us he only has one regret. 
 
"Next time, I think I'd disable his bicycle so he couldn't ride off," he said. 
 
The suspect is described as a black man between 18 and 23 years old. He stands 5-foot-10 and weighs 145 pounds. He was last seen wearing a dark flannel shirt with a dark T-shirt over it. 
 
He rode a turquoise cruiser-style bicycle with fenders.
 
If you have information about the crime, you can reach St. Petersburg Police Department at 727-893-7780.
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