27-year-old Sarasota man charged with Attempted Murder after Feb. 9 shooting at convenience store on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way

De Shawn Collins being held in jail without bond

De Shawn Collins. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office

A 27-year-old Sarasota man has been charged with Attempted Murder following a shooting in the 2200 block of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Sarasota during the evening of Feb. 9, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has reported.

The 32-year-old unnamed victim was suffering with several gunshot wounds when deputies arrived on the scene, a Sheriff’s Office news release pointed out.

De Shawn Rashad Collins, of 2115 Ernie Shank Court, was being held in the Sarasota County Jail without bond, the Corrections Division record noted. His arraignment has been scheduled for March 18, the record said.

His occupation was listed as “coffee maker.”

Just after 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 9, deputies were called to 2222 Dr. Martin Luther King Way in Sarasota to investigate a report of a shooting in progress, a Sheriff’s Office news release says. After their arrival, the release adds, the victim was transported to the hospital; he was in stable condition as of late in the afternoon of Feb. 10.

The convenience store at that Newtown address is known as the Purple Store, according to an online search by The Sarasota News Leader.

An employee at the business told officers that a black male had shot another black male multiple times outside the store. The employee described the suspect as wearing a burgundy hoodie and light-colored, camouflage pants; the suspect also had long dreadlocks.

Detectives were able to obtain video surveillance footage that showed a person existing the driver’s side of a white Nissan, the Sheriff’s Office report says. As that individual walked up to the front of the Purple Store, the report adds, a black male approached from the east side of the building; the latter man was carrying a black handgun.

The suspect then fired several rounds “within close range (10-15 feet),” the report notes. Detectives could see on the video that the victim was “attempting to crawl away into the store after being shot,” the report says. The suspect followed him into the store and appeared to be “unable to get one last round off,” the report adds.

“The male calmly exits the store and later flees eastbound on Dr. Martin Luther King Way,” the report says.

This is the Purple Store, located at 2222 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Sarasota. Image from Google Maps

The store employee told the officers that the suspect had been a frequent customer whom he knew as De Shawn.

“Detectives shared a photo” from the video surveillance and the name De Shawn “with several patrol units,” the report notes. A deputy utilizing an investigative database entered “the physical descriptors and first name ‘De Shawn’” and found a match for Collins, the report says.

After officers assembled a photo line-up, the report continues, the store employee who was assisting the investigation “was able to positively identify De Shawn Collins as the shooter.”

When officers interviewed the victim, the report says, the victim stated that he did not know the shooter; the victim had “pled for his life” when the shooter walked up to him with a gun.

When members of the Sheriff’s Office’s Forensics team processed the scene, the report notes, they recovered seven .45-caliber casings from the area detectives had viewed on the video footage.

On the morning of Feb. 10, the Sheriff’s Office news release says, detectives executed an arrest warrant on Collins at a home on Cornelius Circle in Sarasota. “As detectives took Collins into custody, they located the weapon that was likely used during Wednesday’s shooting,” the release points out. Based on their preliminary investigation, the release adds, “[D]etectives do not believe the victim and Collins are known to one another.”

This map shows the location of the Purple Store in Newtown. Image from Google Maps

Prior arrests
Collins has a history of prior arrests for such charges as Resisting Arrest, Probation Violation, and miscellaneous drug offenses, the release notes.

The first case involving Collins that the News Leader found in the 12th Judicial Circuit Court records dated to Jan. 31, 2013. In conjunction with that incident, Collins was charged with a first-degree misdemeanor count of Possession of Not More than 20 Grams of Marijuana. The State Attorney’s office for the 12th Judicial District ended up deferring prosecution for three months, as long as Collins abided by certain conditions, court records show. Among them were that he could “remain at liberty” as long as he violated no law; he needed to make a $165 payment for the cost of a court diversion program; he had to perform 15 hours of community service; and he was ordered to attend a one-day substance abuse class, according to a court document signed on Sept. 27, 2012.

In July 2017, court records show, Collins was found guilty of a first-degree misdemeanor count of Battery-Touch or Strike.

The Probable Cause Affidavit in that case, which dated to February 2017, said that when an officer arrived at 2115 Ernie Shank Court to investigate a call about a disturbance, the officer found a woman and Collins engaged in an argument. The focus of that dispute, the victim told the officer, was her and Collins’ relationship. She added that after she told Collins “he would not be able to see her child,” who is not Collins’ offspring, he “‘jumped’ on her and the two began fighting,” the report explained.

This aerial map shows the location of 2115 Ernie Shank Court in Sarasota. Image from Google Maps

After a minute or two, the victim said, Collins’ mother walked into the room and separated them, the report continued.

The officer wrote that he “observed scratches on [the victim’s] neck and cheek.”

Collins admitted to the officer that he had been in a physical altercation with the victim, the report noted, but he “denied being the primary aggressor.”

The final document in that case said that Collins ended up being ordered to serve 45 days in jail.

In yet another case, dating to May 2020, Collins was charged with possession of a controlled substance (clonazepam) without a prescription; possession of another controlled substance without a prescription (ecstasy/Molly); possession of cocaine; and Resisting an Officer without Violence.

Collins ended up being arrested after a deputy on routine patrol at 1:48 a.m. on May 19, 2020, observed a vehicle “traveling southbound on Tuttle [Avenue] at a high rate of speed,” that Sheriff’s Office report said. The officer used radar to determine that the vehicle was traveling at 50 mph in a 35-mph zone, that report noted.

The deputy finally was able to stop the vehicle, the report added. When he did so, the “front seat passenger fled,” in spite of the officer’s calling out “loud verbal commands” for the passenger to stop.

Eventually, the report continued, the passenger “ran into a fence, which brought him to an abrupt stop.”

In searching Collins before placing him in the patrol car, the report added, the officer found a baggie in Collins’ pocket with “two white rocks that had the physical appearance of crack cocaine.” Collins also had a “small baggie with a white, powdery substance and one white pill” in his wallet, the report said.

Collins ended up pleading “No contest” in that case, court records noted. In August 2021, after he had violated terms of probation, records showed, he was sentenced to jail for 45 days and then given credit for already having been in jail 41 days.