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Man arrested in fatal shooting near Village of the Arts

BRADENTON — A man is sitting in jail accused of murder after a 20-year-old man was shot to death outside a rooming house Thursday morning near Village of the Arts.

Bradenton Police officers and Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Jerry W. Green, Jr., 22, at about 5 p.m. Thursday after finding him at an apartment complex. Police found Green after releasing his picture to the public and executing an arrest warrant.

Green and at least one other man may have been involved in the shooting that left a man dying in the driveway of a rooming house in the 1500 block of 10th Street West.

Two bullets riddled Alex Dawson’s body after he stepped outside his doorway, according to residents.

“I heard two gunshots. I woke up. I looked out,” said Patty Garcia, 36, whose bedroom window faces the driveway. “I opened the blinds and heard a lady screaming, ‘Oh my God, he’s dying. He’s bleeding.’ . . . She was screaming at the top of her lungs, ‘He’s dying. He’s dying.’ It was really scary.”

Dawson, who lived with his girlfriend in one of the rooms, was flown to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg at about 1 a.m. Medical staff pronounced him dead at 3:33 a.m., according to a released statement from Bradenton Police.

A 28-year-old woman, who lives just down the street from Dawson and who feared giving her name, said the couple had moved into the apartment two months ago.

The woman is now taking care of the couple’s pit bull, she said.

“(Alex) was a good-hearted person. He took this dog in because the neighbors were mistreating it,” she said.

A bowl of dog food and water sat near the couple’s doorway Thursday afternoon. No one answered any of the doors at the rooming house.

“(Alex) walked out of his house and got shot,” she said. “I think he came out and surprised the people, honestly. . . . He did not deserve this. He was a good person. . . . (The shooting) was uncalled for.”

Dawson’s girlfriend is four months pregnant with the couple’s child, she said.

Tenants often don’t stay at the rooming house long. In the past year, there have been at least three to four different residents moving out, Garcia said.

The killing is a first she can remember in the neighborhood, though.

“This never happens in this neighborhood,” Garcia said. “It was so loud. It was like firecrackers.”

Bradenton Police Deputy Chief William Tokajer declined to comment on the investigation or on what grounds Green was arrested.

“We have nothing to add other than what was in the press release,” Tokajer said in telephone call Thursday night.

Dawson’s death marks the 12th homicide in Manatee County this year. Last year, there were 17 murders. This isn’t the first time Green has been accused of murder. He was arrested in 2007 for allegedly killing Christopher Jenkins, 25, after the two got into a fight April 8 at Club Nitros in Palmetto.

Jenkins was killed in the 600 block of Cortez Road. He was shot in the back four times there, according to Manatee County Sheriff’s detectives. Prosecutors were forced to drop the case due to a lack of cooperation by witnesses, said Assistant State Attorney Garrett Franzen.

Anyone with any information about this case can contact Bradenton Police Detective Greg Price at 932-9355 or remain anonymous and possibly be eligible for a cash reward by calling Crimestoppers at (866) 634-TIPS (8477).

Natalie Neysa Alund contributed to this report.