Manatee, Sarasota confront realities of Dream Center shooting

rdymond@bradenton.comAugust 6, 2013 

BRADENTON -- As Manatee community members await a breakthrough in Thursday's fatal shooting at a children's football practice at the 13 AV Dream Center, one nearby community is taking action.

The Sarasota Police Department has scheduled a series of three talks with local youth about violence.

The Sarasota community leaders behind the discussions include Leslie Harrell with FOCUS Ministerial Alliance.

Brenton Coleman Sr., 39, was shot and killed by two gunmen shortly after 8 p.m. Thursday in the parking lot of the 13t AV Dream Center, 1011 24th St. E. The killing took place just as football practice had ended.

Coleman had been holding his 5-year-old child when two gunmen shot him with a crowd of roughly 400 people gathered for the practices.

No suspect has been identified as yet, apparently.

"We don't have an update today," Deputy Chief Warren Merriman of the Bradenton Police Department said Monday when asked if an arrest was imminent. "It's still an ongoing investigation."

The Bradenton Police Department has turned the case over to the Manatee County Homicide Unit, Merriman added. Bradenton Police Chief Michael Radzilowski said the Manatee County Homicide Unit puts extra force behind solving the case.

"We stay out of it. Just let them do their work," Radzilowski said. "I am briefed every day. I am not aware of anything new to report right now."

While the Manatee Homicide Unit was working on solving the shooting, Sarasota Police Officer Dominic Harris spent some time Monday talking with youngsters talking about shooting at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex in Sarasota.

"What are you seeing that you don't like?" Harris asked, according to a release.

Many youngsters described examples of crimes and drugs in their neighborhood. Harris rewarded good answers with candy and clapping in a show of support. Harris called the youngsters in the room heroes.

Harris spoke about the importance of reporting crime and bullying. He reminded children to say something if they see something. They have the power to make bullying stop, he told them. It's not snitching. It's doing the right thing, the officer said.

Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPinoalso spoke with the group. She wanted the children to know police officers are their friends. She asked the attendees to wave to police officers when they see them on patrol and she promised they would get candy on Halloween from officers in patrol cars.

Harris will speak at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at Newtown Estates Gym, 2800 Newtown Blvd., and 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Boys & Girls Club, 1790 21st St., Sarasota.

Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-748-0411, ext. 6686.

Bradenton Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service