MANATEE -- After a man was shot and critically injured at 3:33 a.m. Sunday in a little sand- colored duplex in the 6000 block of Second Street West, neighbors said they have had enough and would like the duplex shut down.
The victim and his girlfriend were sitting on the couch in the living room watching TV when they heard a knock at the door, according to a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office report.
The victim got up and answered the door. The girlfriend heard the victim say, “Boy, put that gun away.”
Then, she heard a gunshot, according to the report.
The victim collapsed in the living room with a gunshot wound to his left side in, what deputies are calling an “attempted murder.” He was flown to Bayfront Medical Center and was listed in critical condition Sunday, the report states.
On Sunday afternoon, three young girls who live in the neighborhood and the father of two of them appealed to the sheriff’s office to close the duplex down due to what they say is constant criminal activity there night and day.
“Please tell them to shut this house down,” said Natally Gamez, 9, a Daughtrey Elementary School student. “They are selling drugs there and using drugs. It’s a bad example for kids. We’ve seen fighting between men and women. We see all kinds of cars come here at all hours day and night. The noise keeps us awake. It’s the only bad house in the neighborhood and it’s been going on about a year.”
Attempts to reach the victim’s girlfriend were unsuccessful. No one answered the door at the house on Sunday afternoon.
“Everyday we see something bad,” said Nicole Villanueva, Natally’s best friend at Daughtrey. “One time there were drunk people throwing chairs.”
“Please close it,” said Melanie Villanueva, 6.
Freddie Villanueva, the father of Nicole and Melanie, said he would also like to see the authorities do something to end the constant strife at this one duplex.
“The girls are scared,” Villanueva said.
Resident Don Johnson said the shooting was not an example of the whole community.
“This is a quiet neighborhood,” Johnson said.
Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 748-0411, ext. 6686.