MANATEE — Deputies with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office have arrested one of two suspects in connection with the shooting death of a 17-year-old Sarasota girl in Bradenton.
Jasper Dudley, 19, of Bradenton, has been arrested, according to a Manatee County Sheriff's Office press released issued about 9:30 p.m. Monday.
Dudley and Frank Brice, 19, of Palmetto, were wanted for questioning about the shooting of Teria’le Rawls, who was found dead about 10 minutes after she was shot early Monday morning during a fight in the parking lot of a Bradenton movie theater, according to the sheriff’s office.
Brice remains at large.
“We don’t know if in fact the suspects knows the victim or not until we talk to them,” said sheriff’s spokesman Dave Bristow.
Rawls was part of a group that got into an altercation in the parking lot of the Royal Palm Theater, 5126 26th St. E., near U.S. 301 and State Road 70, according to a news release.
Bristow said acquaintances tried to drive her to the Sarasota Memorial Hospital when the car was pulled over in north Sarasota County by Florida Highway Patrol troopers at 1:45 a.m. Lt. Greg Bueno, spokesman for FHP, said they were pulled over for “excessive speed and disregarding a traffic signal.”
Rawls was pronounced dead at the scene, according to deputies, near the intersection of 57th Street and U.S. 301. Bristow said the car was pulled over no more than 10 minutes after the shooting occurred.
There were at least three people in the car, including Rawls, and all were between the ages of 15 and 21, according to Bristow.
The group had not been watching a movie at the theater and apparently were heading into Bradenton but turned into the theater parking lot to hang out, Bristow said. The last movie showing at the theater ended around 12:30 a.m. Monday.
Bristow wouldn’t disclose how many people were in the parking lot at the time of the altercation but said it was a “large group.” As part of the investigation, Bristow said deputies tried to obtain video footage of the incident but there are no cameras in the theater parking lot.
Manatee officials learned FHP and the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office were investigating the shooting around 2 a.m. Deputies responded and determined the shooting had happened at the theater.
Rawls was looking forward to her senior year at Riverview High School in Sarasota and to cheer camp Friday. Fellow cheerleaders and the cheer coach, met at the school with grief counselors.
“When we think of Teria’le, I know we can only ever think of her beautiful smile and all the moments we shared with her,” said Sabrina Charlotte, a friend.
“I think bad things happen to bad people, and I think it’s just horrible that such a spirited and enthusiastic person could have such a tragedy happen,” said Lindsy Maglich, a friend.
“I thought no, this can’t be right, then it was confirmed it was her and I had a good sob,” said Amy Earl, cheer coach.
Friends think she might have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“I think the biggest thing is to remember the great things about her and what a wonderful girl she was and to just talk about it,” said Earl.
“We remember her as the positive and wonderful person that she was and I think re-living her memory kinds helps us get through it,” said Maglich.
To get through it, they will honor her memory at cheer camp.
“We’re gonna make bows for her and her favorite color was blue so we’re gonna make bows and her name on them,” said Charlotte.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Brice can call the sheriff’s office at 941-747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at 866-634-TIPS.
Kate Irby, online reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7055. You can follow her on Twitter @KateIrby. Staff writer Amaris Castillo and Bay News 9 contributed to this story.