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Second Memorial Day gun incident reported on Siesta Key

Aaron Payton
Aaron Payton(SCSO)
Published: Jun. 1, 2022 at 11:06 AM EDT
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SIESTA KEY, Fla. (WWSB) - While authorities continue to look for the suspect who fired multiple shots during a fight between teens Monday on Siesta Key, deputies have made an arrest in a second, apparently unrelated handgun assault in the same area at the same time, arrest records show.

Deputies were called to 1 Beach Drive at about 4:30 p.m. after gunshots were heard during an altercation between two groups of teens.

As one deputy arrived at the scene, he reported approximately 50 people trying to get his attention to report an assault.

One of these people told the deputy he was witnessing a fight between two males, when a third male, later identified as 18-year-old Aaron Payton of Palmetto, approached the fight, brandishing a handgun. Payton allegedly hit an unknown person in the back of the head with the gun.

The witness told the deputy he attempted to disarm Payton and the two struggled for possession of the handgun. The victim said Payton struck him with his fist, regained control of the gun and fled on foot.

Payton was allegedly spotted running on Avenida Messina, where he threw a gun in the bushes. The gun, a black .22-caliber handgun, was later recovered by deputies.

Shortly before 8 p.m., deputies received a call from a juvenile witness who claimed to be the person Payton had hit in the head with the gun. The juvenile identified Payton, sending social media photos of Payton to authorities.

Deputies located Payton shortly afterward and questioned him. Payton was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, tampering with evidence and carrying a concealed weapon.

Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Megan Krahe told ABC7 it was originally unclear if the two Siesta Key incidents were connected, but “they have since been determined to be separate occurrences in a similar location and timeframe,” she said via email.

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