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Felon Faces Prison for Gun Possession During St. Pete Shootout

He pleaded guilty to the federal charge, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

TAMPA – A convicted felon who pleaded guilty to gun possession during a shootout in St. Petersburg has been sentenced to a stint in a federal prison, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida said.

Lavonta Hill, 28, of St. Petersburg, was sentenced to five years and four months in federal prison for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. Hill had pleaded guilty on October 30, 2018.

According to court documents, about 3:45 a.m. Jan. 25,  2017, Hill was involved in a shootout in a residential area of 15th Street and 14th Avenue S in St. Petersburg. Shortly after the shooting, officers from the St. Petersburg Police Department found Hill on the ground in the parking lot of a nearby liquor store, bleeding from his wounds. Hill, who at the time was a convicted felon and prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition, denied knowing where the shooting occurred, who shot him, or why.

Further investigation by SPPD determined that the shooting had occurred on 15th Street S, that about 60 shots had been fired, and that bullets had struck nearby houses, trees, and cars. In the front yard of one of the residences, an officer found a blue recycling container with blood smeared on it. Under the container, the officer found a firearm. Investigators discovered a trail of blood drops from that home to the liquor store parking lot. Surveillance video from a nearby grocery store showed Hill staggering across the parking lot and crossing the street toward the liquor store at about 3:46 a.m. Witnesses described seeing Hill stumble and sway as he approached the liquor store. DNA from the blood on the firearm and recycling bin matched Hill’s DNA and a firearms and ballistics expert determined that two of the cartridge cases from the shooting scene were fired from the gun linked to Hill.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the St. Petersburg Police Department, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

U.S. Attorney | Courts | Crime | Tampabay News

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Felon Faces Prison for Gun Possession During St. Pete Shootout
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Felon Faces Prison for Gun Possession During St. Pete Shootout
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He pleaded guilty to the federal charge, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
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TB Reporter
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