ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – Are you safe sleeping in your own home? A woman and child were both shot while sleeping overnight in what police believe are two separate and random incidents.
Eight On Your Side spoke with the husband of a 43-year-old woman and the stepfather of an 11-year-old boy who are both victims in the senseless shootings who say change needs to happen now.
“I heard I heard a bunch of screaming so I jumped up and ran in the living room and see my son bleeding,” said Robert Creed.
Creed said his innocent 11-year-old stepson Chuck Woods, also known as Dooney, is lucky to be alive.
“This [bullet hole] here, if his head would have been laying right here [the bullet] would have got him in the head,” Creed said pointing to the bullet holes in the house.
He said Dooney was struck by multiple bullets in the leg and foot just after midnight while sleeping in bed. Not far away, a similar story.
About an hour later at 1:40 a.m. Thursday morning a 43-year-old woman shot in the leg while sleeping in bed. A car outside the home was also shot.
Eight On Your Side spoke with her husband who didn’t want to go on camera but says his wife Phyllis Cooper is home from the hospital and recovering.
Cooper says his wife is already paralyzed from a car crash two years ago.
“The shootings in St. Pete are a tragedy,” said community member Carl Price. “We need to come together as a community and do something to stop the shootings.”
The victim’s families tell us the woman shot is home recovering but the child is still at the hospital and will likely lose a toe.
Eight On Your Side spoke with St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman about what the city is doing to keep residents safe.
“It’s, unfortunately, happening around the country right so all of us are looking for ways to try to address it,” Mayor Kriseman adding. “One shooting is too many. We’ve had a number of community conversations and a number of programs we’re looking at.”
St. Pete police said they’re adding extra officers in those neighborhoods and have specialized units working the case.
Police officials say you can help by locking up your guns.
“Remove their guns from their cars, and lock their cars at night. Because we have far too many guns stolen from unlocked cars and then fall into the wrong hands,” said St. Petersburg Police Department spokeswoman Yolanda Fernandez.
Fernandez says in St. Petersburg there were seven homicides in 2020 while in 2021 there have already been 16 homicides.
“It’s a good reminder that when they fire guns those bullets don’t have GPS or someone’s name on it. They can strike people not involved in your quarrel or dispute,” Fernandez said.
If you have info about either shooting you are asked to call the St. Petersburg Police Department.