Two individuals have been apprehended following a fatal shooting at a Florida surf shop on Tuesday night, according to police reports.
Johnathan Stanley, a 20-year-old from Clearwater, was arrested at the Clearwater Mall on Wednesday evening. He faces charges of second-degree murder and is currently being held on a $750,000 bond. The Clearwater Police Department commended the detectives involved in apprehending Stanley within 24 hours of the incident.
Zayah Massucci, 19, was also arrested on Wednesday and charged with accessory after the fact in connection with the shooting. Authorities allege that Massucci provided assistance to Stanley despite being aware that Stanley was wanted by the police.
The incident took place at Surf Style around 8 p.m. on Tuesday. The victim, 22-year-old Rodney Sweeney from Largo, was found on the second floor of the store with a gunshot wound.
After being transported to the hospital, he eventually succumbed to his injuries and passed away.
According to a Thursday press conference, police stated that it does not seem like the victim and suspect were acquainted. However, they reportedly had “some kind of verbal contact” earlier that day. Investigators are working to establish the details of the encounter.
Clearwater Police Chief Daniel Slaughter commented on the incident, suggesting that Stanley and his group may have intended to start a fight.
He presented surveillance footage during the press conference. The footage showed the victim, Sweeney, approaching and hitting the suspect, Stanley, on the second floor of the surf store.
Investigators claim that Stanley then brandished a handgun and fired three shots, two of which hit Sweeney. Slaughter emphasized that the physical altercation was not a valid reason for using a firearm, adding that Stanley appeared to have had every intention of using the weapon from the outset.
Police Chief Daniel Slaughter noted that the shooting took place in a crowded area, and there were numerous bystanders nearby.