Woman hit by bullet on her way home from church

Posted at 4:47 PM, May 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-10 01:36:42-04

St. Petersburg Police are asking for the public’s help in finding the person or people who shot at a group of people in a car on their way home from church.

Lagloria Johnson, 59, was hit by a stray bullet in the arm.

“I just asked her, 'Are you OK?' She started going, 'I’m in pain, I’m in pain, I’m in pain,'” Patricia Upson said.

With a bullet hole still in her windshield and shattered glass everywhere, Upson can’t believe she and three friends were caught in the crossfire of a shooting on their way home from church Sunday night. They just left a gospel concert at the Most Holy Name of Jesus Church in Gulfport.

Upson was driving her car and her best friend Lagloria Johnson who was sitting in the passenger’s seat was shot in the arm.

“I think if she hadn’t turned, the bullet might have hit her chest,” Upson said.

Another bullet left its mark on the paneling on the driver’s side of the car. Police tell ABC Action News they don’t think the churchgoers were targeted but aren’t sure who the intended victims were.  

The shooting happened at 15th Avenue South and 42nd Street near the Shadyside Market. Police don’t believe the shooter or shooters were in a car and they have no idea who did it.

“We didn’t pay attention to who was standing there. We were just minding our business,” Upson said.

William Baker lives just outside the market and says he ducked for cover, too, not knowing where the shots were coming from. “It’s got to be at lease six or seven shots,” Baker said.  

Baker has lived in south St. Petersburg for 40 years and tells ABC Action News he’s tired of the constant shootings in his community. “What’s the matter with the world? These young people just killing people like they want to?  They need to be stopped,” he said.  

Police said the two other people inside the car, a woman in her 60s and a man in his 30s are both OK. Upson said she’s counting her blessings.

“I'm just thankful everyone is OK. Especially Lagloria. It could have been worse. I mean lives could have been taken at that moment,” Upson said.

While she hopes someone is caught,  Upson said she’s doubtful it will happen. “No one is going to come forward. We’ll probably never know who did this shooting,” she said.

St. Petersburg Police haven’t released a suspect description or what age they think the suspect may be. Anyone with information is asked to call St. Petersburg Police Department  at 727-893-7780.