SEFFNER, Fla. (WFLA) – The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a shooting that hospitalized a child in Seffner.
According to deputies, the suspect, later identified as 33-year-old Jontavius Laquan Shaeron Monroe, engaged in an argument with another customer around 10 a.m. Saturday at a CITGO gas station, located at 12020 E Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
After the argument, the sheriff’s office said Monroe was seen following the other customer out of the parking lot, heading north on Pine Street. While driving in their respective cars, a release from HCSO says Monroe pulled up next to the other customer’s car and shot into it, hitting a child in the leg. The child was taken to a local hospital with a non-life-threatening injury.
“A verbal dispute between two grown men should never end with a child being shot, and I pray for the child’s quick recovery,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said.
“Two people getting over a feud over something this small, possibly taking the life of a child, now it’s a whole different problem. Now we’re playing like we’re God and we’re not God,” said Donnie Wilson, a manager at Cloud House Smoke Shop which sits across the street from the convenience store.
Wilson, who heard the gunshots as he was opening the shop Saturday morning, said they were not the first gunshots he has heard in the area.
“This area is not the best but at the same time, it’s fun and games when this stuff goes on, but when a kid gets hit, I hope it makes somebody see that this stuff is serious,” he said.
Deputies say Monroe is an eight-time convicted felon. He faces multiple charges, including aggravated battery, attempted murder in the first-degree, discharge firearm from a vehicle, shooting into a vehicle, and felon in possession of a firearm.
He was last seen wearing a black sweater, white T-shirt, and black pants. He is believed to be driving a black, four-door BMW 3 Series car.
If you have any information on Monroe’s whereabouts or the incident, you’re asked to contact the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office by calling 813-247-8200.