Crime

Sheriff's deputies search Manatee River for weapon in two driveby shootings

MANATEE -- Sheriff's divers are searching along the DeSoto Bridge today for a weapon from this weekend's drive-by shootings.

As reported earlier, three subjects taken into custody following two drive-by shootings Saturday afternoon in Bradenton have been identified.

They are Jokevious Bell, 20; Deandre A. Lilly, 21; and Anthony M. Sanchez, 21, all of Bradenton.

The first shooting took place at approximately 4:40 p.m. at the 2800 block of Sixth Street East in Bradenton. Deputies arrived on the scene while others searched the area for the suspect vehicle, said Lt. Joel Perez of the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies witnessed the second shooting 30 minutes later in the 500 block of 30th Avenue East in Bradenton. No one was shot in either incident, Perez said.

Deputies pursued the suspect vehicle across the De Soto Bridge into Palmetto.

When nearing the intersection of U.S. 41 North and 17th Street East in Palmetto, the suspect vehicle struck another vehicle making a left turn at the traffic signal.

The second vehicle sustained mostly front-end damage. The driver and passenger were taken to Manatee Memorial Hospital for evaluation, Perez said.

The collision caused the suspects' vehicle to go off the shoulder and into a wall at RaceTrac gas station before rolling over on its side. The three occupants of the vehicle are in custody and were treated for minor injuries at Manatee Memorial Hospital, Perez said.

Perez said any motive behind the shootings is unknown. The investigation is ongoing.

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