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Woman arrested in New Year’s Eve shooting on Main Street

Latoya Johnson
Latoya Johnson(SCSO)
Published: Jan. 3, 2022 at 10:53 AM EST
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - A Sarasota woman is being held on $1.1 million bond, charged with shooting a man to death during a fight inside a restaurant on Main Street on New Year’s Eve.

Latoya Johnson, 37, of Sarasota, has been arrested and is facing charges of murder, tampering with evidence and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Sarasota Police officers at the New Year’s Eve event on Main Street were called to a shooting at a pizza restaurant in the 1400 block of Main Street at about 1:45 a.m. They found a man shot in the chest. The victim was taken to Sarasota Memorial Hospital where he later died.

Witnesses say the victim and his family were sitting at a table outside the restaurant when one family member, who may have been intoxicated, was being physically sick. As the person passed by Johnson’s table, they apparently vomited on one of the people sitting with Johnson, police said.

A fight ensued; Johnson is seen on surveillance video holding a black firearm in her right hand as she kicked people on the ground, a probable cause affidavit said.

The victim is seen running toward the fight and attempting to defend his family by hitting Johnson on her head. Police say the video shows Johnson turning and shooting the victim and shot him. The entire incident took 37 seconds, police said.

Johnson, along with several other people were stopped by Sarasota Police officers a couple of blocks away after witnesses provided their description. As officers approached the group, they saw Johnson conceal a firearm in a planter in the area, the affidavit says. The firearm was recovered by officers.

The case remains under investigation. Anyone with information on this case is asked to call the Sarasota Police Department Criminal Investigations Division at 941-263-6070 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com

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