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Vehicles of interest identified in weekend shooting near UTC; cause still under investigation

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Updated: Jun. 7, 2021 at 8:27 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Detectives are continuing to investigate a shooting incident that occurred Saturday evening near University Town Center.

The cause of the shooting is still unknown as of Monday night. When asked if road rage was a potential factor, investigators said it is still unclear. Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Kenn Watson said if you ever find yourself in a road rage situation, being aware and avoiding an escalation is key.

“Do not engage in a road rage situation where all of the sudden guns are being drawn, bottom line deescalate, get away from that situation do not put yourself in harm’s way,” said Watson. “The bottom line is you don’t know whom you are honking at, you do not know who is in the other vehicle and we want to avoid an escalating situation.”

Per the release, the Public Safety Communications Center received more than 30 911 calls around 7:30 p.m. regarding a possible active shooter situation in the University Town Center area.

Preliminary statements made by witnesses indicated there may have been at least two vehicles driven by suspects who exchanged gunfire in the 200 block of Cattlemen Road.

Through witness interviews and video surveillance, detectives believe the two involved vehicles include a silver Nissan Altima with the driver’s side rear window shot out and a gray unknown make/model sedan.

Detectives believe the two involved vehicles include a silver Nissan Altima with the driver’s...
Detectives believe the two involved vehicles include a silver Nissan Altima with the driver’s side rear window shot out, and a gray unknown make/model sedan.(Sarasota County Sheriff's Office)

Detectives believe this incident was isolated; they believe the drivers were not trying to endanger patrons but may have been in a personal dispute with one another.

Jessica McVay, a witness, said the scene was chaotic, and everything happened so quickly.

“I watched the cars go around,” said McVay. “I was just sitting there at the table and then nobody knew what happened like it just happened so quickly.”

As a follow-up to Saturday’s news release, there are still no known victims in this case nor was any property damage sustained by any businesses in the area.

The investigation is active and ongoing. Anyone with information is urged to dial our Criminal Investigations Section at 941-861-4900.

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