Man Shot While Strapping Baby in Car Seat

Monday morning, a father faced a spray of bullets as he strapped his 5-month-old infant son in a car seat in a drive-by shooting in Tampa.

It was around 4:30 a.m. when the father was getting ready to drive to work. The 32-year-old victim was outside with his baby and the boy’s mother when a gray or silver Nissan Sentra drove up to the apartment building located at 13130 Stone Fountain Drive, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

As the father was strapping his baby in his car seat, the Sentra pulled up. A man in the passenger seat shouted out, “Do you remember me?” before he fired several shots in the direction of the helpless father and his infant son. One of the shots hit the victim in the ankle, according to deputies.

The Nissan then quickly fled the scene. The deputies described the suspect as a black male between the ages of 20 and 30, with dread locks past his ears.

The victim was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital.

How does Florida prosecute drive-by shootings?

In Florida, drive-by shootings are covered under Sec. 790.15 (2) and (3). Under §790.15(2), if any occupant of a vehicle knowingly or willfully discharges a firearm from the vehicle within 1,000 feet of another person, then that person commits a felony of the second degree, punishable by:

  • Up to 30 years in prison, or
  • Up to a $10,000 fine, or both.

Under Sec. 790.15(3), any driver or owner of any vehicle, whether or not such owner is occupying the vehicle, who directs another person to discharge a firearm from a vehicle is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable by up to 5 years in prison, or up to a $5,000 fine, or both.

If you are facing criminal charges for a weapons-related offense, or for any other violent crime, contact Thomas & Paulk, P.A. to schedule a free consultation with one of Tampa’s premier criminal defense attorneys. We can be reached at (813) 321-7323, or you can fill out our online case evaluation form.