BRADENTON, FL (WWSB) - Authorities have arrested Joe Clerjuste in Denver, Colorado in connection to the Bradenton double murder that occurred on Sunday, July 22.
According to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, Clerjuste is in custody at the Gilliam Youth Services Center in Denver and it's unknown when he will be brought back to Manatee County. The sheriff's office told ABC7 Clerjuste turned himself in to authorities.
According to the Bradenton Police Department, Clerjuste was previously arrested on weapons charges in Feburary for a Snapchat video. Bradenton Police say the video shows Clerjuste driving around streets near Manatee High School and brandishing a gun. A report from BPD reveals the gun was not legally owned by Clerjuste.
An incident report reveals a student alerted a Manatee High School Resource Officer of the threatening Snapchat video on February 21, 2018. According to the report, Clerjuste is a former student of Manatee High School.
Police learned Clerjuste did not have a valid driver's license at the time of the incident. Police tried to track down Clerjuste at several locations, including his mother's address. Officers issued two warrants for Clerjuste, one for driving without a license, and another for open carry of a firearm. Police arrested Clerjuste about one week later at a friend's house, after spotting him inside the doorway.
Additionally, Clerjuste was arrested for Burglary and Battery back in May after getting into a fight in someone's home. Deputies say Caleb Bowman was at the home with Clerjuste when it happened, but Bowman was not charged in the incident.
Deputies say Clerjuste is charged with Murder in connection to the shooting deaths of Caleb Bowman and Kemundrey Pittmon.
Additional details surrounding the incident will be released upon his return to Manatee County.
According to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, at approximately 12:20 a.m. Sunday, Bradenton Police responded to Manatee Memorial Hospital for reports of a shooting victim.
Deputies say the victim, 18-year-old Caleb Bowman of Bradenton, died at Manatee Memorial Hospital. Bradenton Police Department responded to the call, then the Manatee County Homicide Team immediately began investigating.
Subsequent investigation led detectives to the back of a shopping center at 2114 Cortez Rd. W. in Bradenton, where MCSO says deputies discovered a second victim who died from an apparent gunshot wound.
Kemundrey Pittmon, 18, of Bradenton, was identified as the second victim.
Both victims attended Bayshore High School in recent months.
The sheriff's office is investigating the double homicide as it appears the incident occurred behind the shopping center which is in the county, according to MCSO.
MCSO has not yet released an official motive in the case, but believe a disagreement, likely over drugs, led to the shootings.
"It could have just been simple confrontation," stated Bowman's friend Zachary Watson. "It could have been a simple bump in the shoulder."
According to court documents, Clerjuste was charged with a misdemeanor earlier this year, and Bowman was under probation after entering a 2017 plea deal for possession of marijuana with intent to sell.
The sheriff's office told ABC7 there was a fourth person involved in the case, calling that person a witness.
The suspects's mother, Charlene, told ABC7 news she had not seen her son since Saturday night and has no idea where he is. Sobbing, she said she did not know if her son was capable of this crime.
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