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Video shows man pull pistol at St. Petersburg protest, police investigating

Pinellas County

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – A Facebook live video shows chaos erupt during a protest in downtown St. Petersburg Saturday night.

Two groups clashed in the streets, and at one point, a man appears to pull out a pistol, frightening the crowd.

“He’s reaching! He’s got a gun!” a man screams in the video.

Aaron Gilmore, of the group St. Pete Peace Protest, told News Channel 8’s Ryan Hughes the video stream is from a member of his organization, which was part of the protest.

“They came to St. Pete, armed, clearly,” Gilmore said of the other group.

News Channel 8 has not been able to confirm if the counter-protesters are members of a known organization or simply came together to voice disdain toward St. Pete Peace Protest.

Gilmore said his group’s demonstrators were harassed.

“They put their hands on multiple people, assaulted multiple people,” Gilmore said. Then he said, “they pulled a gun out, cocked it and pointed it at multiple people.”

The identity of the man who pulled the gun is not known.

On Sunday morning, the St. Petersburg Police Department issued a media advisory saying investigators have seen the video and are looking into the incident.

Police explained that a knife was first pulled then the man, part of another group, pulled out the gun.

“Aboslutely false,” Gilmore said about the knife aspect of the incident.

The incident happened not far from The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort and Golf Club.

“This seems a little bit like a white flag zone. This is a very low crime area, and to have people out here making death threats is extreme,” said Joshua Brown, a St. Petersburg resident.

No one was hurt in the incident and no arrests were made, according to police.

“It’s definitely completely uncalled for,” Gilmore said. “It was just one second away from him murdering somebody.”

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