Bradenton Police give update on early morning shooting at Village at Cortez
Bradenton police are investigating a shooting less than a month after a drug-related shooting in the same apartment complex left one man injured and another man dead.
At about 1 a.m. Wednesday, Bradenton police received reports of a shooting in the Village at Cortez apartment complex, 4880 51st St. W., in the breezway of building 16. Officers arrived and found 29-year-old Christopher Kelly suffering from a gunshot wound.
According to detectives, Kelly and another suspect attempted to rob two victims in the apartment complex and during the struggle that ensued, Kelly was shot by one of the victims. He was taken to Blake Medical Center to be treated for his injuries.
Police have been unable to identify the second suspect, according to Capt. Brian Thiers, and are asking for the community’s help.
“It all revolves around community involvement,” Thiers said. “When people come forward and say something, we are able to put people in jail.”
Both victims and witnesses in the apartment complex have been cooperative, according to Thiers.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Bradenton Police Detective Jeff Beckley at 941-932-9356 or submit tips to email@example.com. Tips can also be submitted anonymously, making someone eligible for a reward of up to $3,000 by calling 1-866-634-8477 or online at manateecrimestoppers.com.
Police were called to the same apartment complex on Oct. 19 to reports of a shooting. Police arrived to find a 24-year-old Sarasota man suffering from several gunshot wounds and sitting inside a parked car.
Within moments, police were called to the adjacent Baypointe at Cortez condo community after 24-year-old Arron Fludd was found face down on a sidewalk.
Both victims were rushed to Blake Medical Center, where Fludd died shortly after.
Both men had been together, according to police, and had arranged to meet Mauriece Ladarahyll McGee Jr. to sell him half a pound of marijuana. But when McGee tried to pass off counterfeit bills during the drug deal, the shooting victim told detectives, McGee got out, two others appeared and opened the car’s front door and began shooting at him.
McGee was arrested days later and charged with grand theft for the use of the counterfeit bills, which were recovered from the car. Police are considering him a person of interest in the shooting and he could still face more charges. The other two suspects have not been identified.
Police do not believe Wednesday’s shooting is connected to last month’s incident. There is also no known connection between the suspects and victims in Wednesday’s shooting, according to detectives, who believe it was a random armed robbery.