NORTH MANATEE — Kids were riding bikes around the 3900 block of Third Avenue Drive East on Sunday afternoon, enjoying their day off before school Monday.
“It’s a pretty good family neighborhood with lots of kids,” said Eric Fowler, who has lived in the neighborhood for 14 months. “It’s noisy sometimes, but basically, these are good neighbors.”
Yet Thursday evening two people died during a home invasion at a duplex on the street.
Some of the children playing on the street Sunday said they heard the shots that resulted in the shooting death of Patricia White and the suicide of her 22-year-old son Clarence Jerome White.
Lamont Yarn, 19, was arrested in the case and charged with murder by Manatee County sheriff’s deputies.
Yarn was wounded in a shoot-out with occupants of White’s home and was initially reported to be in critical condition. An update on his condition was not available Sunday.
The motive for the attack is unknown but the witnesses in the home have drug and gang-related records.
Fowler, who lives in a duplex near White’s, was sleeping during the shooting.
“What happened was totally unexpected. I’m going to say it was an isolated incident,” Fowler said.
Teyona Robinson, 11, a student at Buffalo Creek Middle School, is trying to deal with the fact that there was a shooting in a house she rides past nearly every day on her bicycle.
“It was very scary because it’s so close to home,” Teyona said.
Nick McWhorter, 16, and his friend, Jordan Evans, 16, both live on the street and heard “big pops” when the firearms went off.
“I knew the people who died and respected them,” Jordan said.
“It’s insane that it happened so close to home,” Nick said.
Ty Evans, Jordan’s eight-year-old brother, who attends Virgil Mills Elementary School, can’t help but think about it.
“My mother heard it,” Ty said. “I feel scared and sad about it.
Amelia Robuck often visits a girl friend on the street.
“These are good people who live in this neighborhood,” Robuck said.
“All I can say is that all of this is very, very sad.”