With yet another shooting reported in north Sarasota, police chief releases statement to reassure the public

Adult victim in North Lemon Avenue incident suffers minor injuries

The red balloon on this aerial map marks the general location of the 2800 block of North Lemon Avenue in Sarasota. Image from Google Maps

The Sarasota Police Department is investigating a shooting that occurred around 10 p.m. on Friday, May 24, near the 2800 block of North Lemon Avenue in Sarasota, the agency has reported.

“One adult victim was taken to Sarasota Memorial Hospital with minor injuries,” a news release said.

“This is an open and active investigation,” the Police Department news release added. “It is believed to be an isolated incident. The public is not in danger,” the release noted.

By count of The Sarasota News Leader, this is the sixth shooting in or near the Newtown community of north Sarasota since the start of this year. Just eight days prior to this incident, the Police Department arrested two teenage males in connection with a shooting near Booker High School that resulted in the death of a 28-year-old man who was not identified.

On the Police Department’s Facebook page, a number of people commented on the latest incident, questioning — as one woman put it — “What’s going on here in Sarasota lately with all these shootings!” She added, “Wake up Sarasota and get these areas more police protection.”
Another woman wrote, “As the population in Sarasota drastically increases, so [do] the crime & problems!”

Yet another person pointed out, however, “Every year about this time, there seems to be more violence. It’s a proven fact that crime rates go up in hot weather. Lately, we have had a full moon, economic insecurity, we’re in a deep drought, and it is hot as hell for only being May! Hopefully it will begin raining soon and kind of break the tension that’s in the air. Until then, let’s all stay cool and be safe!”

In a May 25 post responding to the comments, Police Chief Rex Troche wrote, “We understand that recent events have caused concern among our residents, and we want to address your worries directly.

Chief Rex Troche. Image courtesy City of Sarasota

“We want to assure you that the safety of our community is our top priority. The recent shootings, though concerning, are not connected. One of these incidents has already been resolved, with two suspects in custody thanks to the swift and effective work of our detectives,” he added.

“While we have seen some incidents both in our city and in neighboring areas,” Troche continued, “it is important to remember that these do not represent a trend. Each situation is being thoroughly investigated, and we are committed to bringing those responsible to justice.

“We also want to emphasize that Sarasota remains a safe place to live, work, and visit,” he added. “Our police department is working diligently to maintain public safety and address any criminal activities promptly.

“We encourage everyone to stay informed through official sources, such as our verified social media pages. Your safety and well-being are our utmost concern, and we will continue to keep you updated with accurate information,” he wrote.

“Thank you for your support and cooperation,” Troche concluded the statement.

The May 24 shooting took place in an area that largely is open, based on a News Leader review of an aerial map. North Lemon Avenue is just east of Central Avenue, on the southeastern edge of the Bayou Oaks community of Sarasota, according to a map shown on the Trulia.com website.

This graphic shows the Bayou Oaks area of Sarasota. Image from Trulia.com

No further information about the incident was available prior to the deadline for publication of this issue of the News Leader.

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 941-316-1199. “As always,” the release noted, “anonymous tips can be provided to Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS or submitting them online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com.