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Courts / Law

Arrest Made In St. Petersburg Birthday Shooting

handgunAP.jpg
Associated Press

St. Petersburg Police made an arrest early this morning in the death of a St. Petersburg teenager who was killed in his driveway on his 18th birthday Wednesday. 

Seventeen-year-old Chris Scott has been arrested and charged with first degree murder in the death of Lakewood High School student Maxwell Curtis Muennich.

Police said Scott shot Muennich in front of his South St. Petersburg home Wednesday night during an altercation between the two teenagers. Muennich was transported to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg hospital where he died from his injuries about 9:30 p.m.

St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway said Wednesday's tragic shooting is another example of the issue of gun violence amongst teenagers who are not equipped with conflict-resolution skills.

"Basically what we have is when kids get involved with in a fight or an argument, to me, I think they think the quickest way to solve the problem is to pick up a gun or a knife," Holloway said.

The city hired the Rev. Kenny Irby two months ago in response to youth gun violence.

Although St. Petersburg Police said overall violent crime was down 14 percent, more than half of shooting deaths in 2015 occurred in the last two months of the year. Many of the incidents involved young men living in South St. Petersburg.

"Until we are able to gain the attention of young people and redirect them, there will unfortunately continue to be loss of life," Irby said. "There are people who still choose to focus on criminality and not on positive outcomes."

Irby is trying to respond to violent crime through expanding a program to give second chances to first time offenders and creating a youth basketball league.

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