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Cops: 2 dead in Manatee shooting

MANATEE - Two men were shot to death tonight in the 1100 block of 59th Avenue Drive East, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies responded to the scene shortly after 9:20 p.m. after someone called 911 to report that they had heard several gunshots.

Neither victim had been identified late tonight, according to sheriff's Lt. Richie Cunningham. A news release said they each appeared to be between 17 and 23 years old.

About an hour later, a body laid under a white sheet in the roadway. The second victim was pronounced dead at Manatee Memorial Hospital, according to a sheriff's office news release.

Yellow crime scene tape surrounded the area, and markers designated the location of bullet shells and other evidence. Cunningham said there were at least 18 gunshots fired.

Cunningham said the shooting remained under investigation, and no suspects had been identified.

The deaths mark the 18th and 19th homicides in Manatee County this year. There were 12 in all of 2008.

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