1 person shot after fights break out in Newtown

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SARASOTA - The Sarasota Police Department is investigating a shooting that took place in front of Dredd Mart in the 1900 block of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

It happened Saturday around 3:30 am.

Police investigation revealed that a few hundred people gathered on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way as fights broke out. During the altercation an unknown assailant pulled out a gun and fired a round striking 18-year-old Markeith V. Laws of the 5600 block of 25th St Circle E, Bradenton. Laws was transported to Blake Memorial Hospital by Sarasota County Fire Department Paramedics.

Due to the large, uncooperative crowd, the Sarasota Police Department, along with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Deputies were forced to create a perimeter around the victim and the paramedics while life-saving measures were taken. Officers and deputies were able to subdue the crowd as the victim was taken away from the scene to the hospital. Laws sustained non-life- threatening injuries to his upper thigh.

There were numerous other reports of shots being fired in the vicinity as officers and deputies were attempting to assist the paramedics, who were providing medical assistance to the shooting victim.

Police detectives are actively investigating this case and searching for additional witnesses to the shooting. Detectives have not yet identified the suspect, and stated that, as of this time, there is nothing to link Laws to any illegal activity and it appears he was an innocent bystander.

Anyone with information regarding this shooting is urged to call the Sarasota Police Department Criminal Investigation Unit at (941) 954-7070 or Crime Stoppers Tip Line at (941) 366-TIPS.