ST. PETERSBURG - Two people are dead and a teen is injured after a shooting at a St. Petersburg motel early Wednesday morning.
The initial calls came from the Kenwood Village Inn on 34th Street at 7th Avenue N just after 3:30 a.m.
Multiple shots were fired as a pair of masked gunmen crashed a private card game that played on into the early hours of Wednesday.
"When our officers got there, we found three wounded individuals," said Police spokesman Mike Puetz.
"One man was pronounced dead on scene..two were taken to Bayfront Medical Center.
One has since died at Bayfront. "
That shooting victim , 41-year-old Eric Carter, lived at the Kenwood Village Inn, and he was one of the card players.
According to witnesses, he pulled out his own handgun in response to the gunmen crashing the private party at the motel, and gunfire was exchanged.
His gunfire killed one of the would-be robbers, identified as 25-year-old Garrick Lucas of St. Pete.
Lucas' body was found with his mask still on his face as crime scene techs combed the area for forensic clues and Detectives tried to piece together exactly what happened.
"Alright, so this was a card game?" ABC Action News' Bill Logan asked. "Was it some sort of poker game that these suspects had heard about -- a lot of cash being here?"
"Well, that's a possibility," said Puetz.
"We're gonna look at obviously whether there was stakes involved and depending on the amounts of money what the suspects thought this might be a good target , that's something we're obviously going to look at."
As it turns out, the group of men were playing a game called "tonk," and the stakes were said to be low.
Another shooting victim -- 17 year-old Micah Cave -- described as being "one of the card-players," is being treated at Bayfront for non life-threatening injuries.
All of this on-going as investigators try and get a better description of the other suspect, other than him being a "masked man."
A house-to-house search over a multi-block area centered around 9th Avenue and 31st Street, where a resident complained of a suspicious man on a roof yielded nothing, but the police presence here remained heavy through the morning.
"Still an on-going investigation," said Spokesman Puetz, "we hope to provide some details a little later."