Hillsborough County Deputies arrested a certified gang member and his accomplice after they stole hundreds of dollars worth of Newport cigarettes from a Racetrack gas station and later shot at the store manager while driving south on I-75.
Deputies say 19-year-old Kendrick Atkins stole the cigarettes while 22-year-old Tyler Johnson drove the getaway car.
Store employees then contacted the sheriff’s office to report the theft.
“It was just property. It wasn’t worth life or injury. She (the manager) left it to police and called 911.” HCSO Spokesperson, Danny Alvarez, said.
Alvarez says it was only by chance that the manager ran into the suspects on I-75.
“She’s on her way home and the two suspects just happen to cut her off. In order to help the case, she tries to write down their license plate number.” Alvarez explained.
As she got close to their vehicle, one of the men started shooting at her. All of this happened around 12:30 in the afternoon.
“We do appreciate the help. But this was probably a matter for deputies to take over.” Alvarez said. “(The manager) took on a big risk and didn’t realize how bad these two guys really were.”
Johnson is a member of a gang out of Tampa known as the Manche Boy Mafia. Six of the gang’s members were recently convicted and sentenced in federal court in a credit card fraud and identity theft ring.
Nobody was hurt in yesterday’s shooting.
A deputy quickly spotted the suspects who then ditched the vehicle. Both were detained shortly after.