CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) — A couple is facing charges after a shooting outside a Clearwater gentlemen’s club that left a mother and daughter with minor injuries early Friday morning, according to deputies.
The incident happened at the Diamond Dolls gentlemen’s club on US-19 in unincorporated Clearwater around 3 a.m. Deputies say they were called to the scene for reports of a shooting and, when they arrived, found two victims with minor injuries.
A spokesperson for the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office says the shooting stemmed from an argument between a man’s girlfriend and his ex-girlfriend.
Deputies say 30-year-old Anthony Bates was at Diamond Dolls with his girlfriend, 21-year-old Alycia Ruiz, when his ex-girlfriend showed up with her mom. When Bates and his ex-girlfriend started talking, deputies say an argument broke out between Ruiz and the other woman.
As security tried to remove the two women, a large group of people gathered outside, the sheriff’s office says.
According to deputies, Ruiz pulled a gun out in the back parking lot and fired two rounds, causing fragments to hit the mother and daughter.
Ruiz and Bates are then accused of driving away. Pinellas Park police later found their car in the parking lot of a Wawa on 34th Street near 62nd Avenue North.
Deputies say they identified Ruiz as the suspected shooter and arrested her for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. Bates was identified as the driver from when they left the scene and was arrested for principle to aggravated battery, according to the sheriff’s office. Deputies say Bates also had an unrelated warrant for failure to appear.
Both Bates and Ruiz have been booked into the Pinellas County Jail.
The mother and daughter who were hit by fragments were taken to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries.