CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) — Clearwater police announced the arrest of a man accused of shooting and killing a 22-year-old at a surf shop in Clearwater Beach Tuesday evening.
Clearwater police were initially called to the Surf Style store at 315 South Gulfview Blvd. just before 8 p.m. after reports of a shooting on the shop’s second floor. There, authorities said 22-year-old Rodney Sweeney, of Largo, was shot.
Sweeney was rushed to an area hospital where he later died.
On Thursday, Clearwater Police Chief Daniel Slaughter announced that officers arrested the man suspected of opening fire three times inside the crowded store within 24 hours of the crime. Slaughter identified that man by his first name, “Jonathan.”
Slaughter said his detectives “learned that the victim and the suspect did not necessarily appear to know each other” but appeared to be “looking for a fight.”
Surveillance footage from Tuesday night showed Sweeney striking a man inside the store, that’s when authorities said 20-year-old Jonathan Stanley pulled out a gun and shot Sweeney, ultimately killing him.
Slaughter said Stanley then hid the gun inside the store and ran away.
According to the Clearwater Police Department, Zayah Massucci, 19, was also arrested and charged after he “assisted and gave aid” to Johnathan following the shooting.
Authorities said Massucci “gave aid to the suspect despite knowing he was wanted by the police.” He was arrested and charged with accessory on Wednesday.
Slaughter said officers will “continue to have an increased presence” along Clearwater Beach as spring break season ramps up.
“We want everyone to feel safe when they come to the beach, or anywhere in Clearwater,” Slaughter said. “While violent crime is lower in Clearwater than other places, unfortunately, it is not completely immune to the increase in violent crime being seen across the country.”