© 2023 All Rights reserved WUSF
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Details Still Murky on Clearwater Beach Shootings

Jim Damaske
Tampa Bay Times

A day after confusion reigned during multiple shooting incidents on Clearwater Beach, law enforcement officials are still sorting out all the details as to what exactly happened.

At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Clearwater Police officials said they and the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office each took five people into custody (ten total) Monday night. Each department ended up charging two of the men (four total) and releasing everyone else.

Clearwater Police charged Jerry Lee Holmes Jr., 31, with shooting into an occupied structure and Terrance Antonio Kirnes, 20, with resisting an officer without violence.

The two were arrested in connection with the first shooting incident near the parking lot of the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa. That apparently began shortly before 7 p.m. when two groups had a dispute that escalated to shots being fired. Holmes allegedly fired three shots at members of the other group, hitting the side of the Hyatt all three times. Kirnes allegedly ran from police responding to the scene.

Law enforcement officials, including investigators from the Tampa Police and Tarpon Springs Police Departments, are still exploring motives for the argument, and have not determined if it was gang-related or if there was some other form of personal conflict. They're also looking for someone who shot from inside the Hyatt parking garage at a group in the lot below.

Then, just before 8 p.m., in what law enforcement officials are now calling an apparently unrelated incident, two people were injured in a shooting about half a block away on Gulfview Boulevard. Devonte Saunders was shot in the groin and remains in the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. A second person was apparently shot in the hand and fled the scene. No suspect has been identified in this incident.

In a third incident, Pinellas County Sheriff's deputies arrested Jared Kashon Woodard, 19, after he apparently got into an argument with someone in an adjacent vehicle on the Memorial Causeway and pulled a gun. He now faces charges of possession of marijuana and improper exhibition of a dangerous weapon.

Finally, Pinellas deputies also arrested Jeffrey James Grier, 20, after an incident at Fort Harrison Avenue and Chestnut Street. He faces six charges, including three probation violations, felon in possession of ammunition, felon in possession of a firearm and possession of drug paraphernalia.

All four men are from Tampa.

Clearwater Police officials say there will be an increased presence of law enforcement on the beach during the next few weekends.

Mark Schreiner is the assistant news director and intern coordinator for WUSF News.
WUSF 89.7 depends on donors for the funding it takes to provide you the most trusted source of news and information here in town, across our state, and around the world. Support WUSF now by giving monthly, or make a one-time donation online.