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St. Pete police arrest suspect who randomly shot 19-year-old

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Posted at 10:50 PM, Aug 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-09 23:22:35-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — St. Pete Police said a 19-year-old woman was randomly shot early Saturday morning outside a busy stretch of bars and restaurants.

The shooting happened just after midnight on Saturday in the 200 block of Central Avenue in St. Pete.

Police said the suspect, 29-year-old Joshua Newkirk, took out a gun and pointed it at another man. Officers said the two men had been arguing. The man ran across the street when the suspect pointed a gun at him. Officers said the suspect discharged the gun and shot a 19-year-old in the foot.

"A woman was walking by and she realized there was a fight going on with these two guys and she went to walk around them and get out of the way. She heard the gun go off and realized her foot was bleeding and she's been hit," said Yolanda Fernandez with the St. Pete Police Department.

Paige Henderson works at one of the restaurants. She said she saw people running.

"I was scared for my life and for my coworkers, anybody that we had out there," she said. "All of a sudden, we hear a gunshot. I'm standing right behind the bar. I can look out and I see everyone ducking and scrambling."

Police said Newkirk is facing a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. Officers said he is from South Florida.

"The man that we arrested for aggravated battery has a concealed weapons permit to carry that gun. However, it's never a good idea to mix alcohol and firearms so he got into a fight, went to pull out the gun and point it at somebody and ended up shooting and hurting somebody who was innocent," said Fernandez.

According to jail records, the suspect has bonded out of jail. Police said the victim is expected to be OK.