48-year-old Sarasota woman charged in connection with June 3 shooting

Incident allegedly related to dispute involving prostitution

A 48-year-old Sarasota woman has been charged in connection with a June 3 shooting that occurred just after 2:30 a.m. in the 700 block of Central Avenue in Sarasota, the Sarasota Police Department has reported.

Carrie Anne Ecklund has been charged with possession or use of a firearm while committing a felony and criminal mischief involving more than $1,000, a Police Department news release said.

She appears to be homeless, based on information that The Sarasota News Leader reviewed in her Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Corrections Division record.

Her total bond is $125,000, the Corrections Division record notes. Her arraignment is scheduled for July 21.

In its initial report about the incident, the Police Department noted, “The victim is not cooperating with detectives.” At that time, investigators were “working to identify suspects, witnesses, and any other possible victims,” that release said.

The Probable Cause Affidavit for the case noted that Ecklund was arrested just after 7 p.m. on June 5 at the intersection of Eighth Street and Central Avenue.

The affidavit’s narrative explained that surveillance video showed that about 2:38 a.m. on June 3, a man named Michael Sweeney and another, unidentified male were sitting on a rock at the south end of a commercial building whose address was redacted. The unknown male could be seen “in a verbal altercation with someone not in the video,” the affidavit said. That man then “began swiping his hand in a defense type manner” at the person who was out of camera range, the affidavit continued.

However, the affidavit noted, a white hand holding a handgun could be seen in the lower part of the video frame. Then the video footage showed one flash of a muzzle blast as the unidentified man stepped to the south.

Still shots from surveillance video obtained from a second location showed Sweeney standing with a white female in blue and white clothing; she later was identified as Amanda Ruggles, the affidavit said. In the video still, Ruggles appeared to have suffered a gunshot wound in her left arm, the affidavit added.

When officers located Ruggles at the intersection of Ninth Street and Central Avenue, the affidavit continued, one officer observed a laceration on her upper left arm, consistent with the effects of grazing by a bullet.

When Sarasota County Fire Department/EMS personnel arrived on the scene to treat Ruggles, the affidavit said, she “was uncooperative and proceeded to walk away,” saying that she did not want to press charges. “However, she did confirm that she was shot in the arm,” the affidavit pointed out.

An anonymous source later provided one of the officers information that the suspect was a white female named Carrie who went by the nickname “Pebbles.” That source told the officer that the woman drives a blue Kia and travels with a dog and a black firearm.

The source also said that the shooting involved prostitution and narcotics, the affidavit added.

The source stated that a Black male had been “pimping out” Ruggles, the affidavit pointed out.

Based on the information from the source, the affidavit continued, the officer was able to locate details about Ecklund in law enforcement databases.

On June 4, the affidavit said, the officer observed Ecklund and the alleged pimp together just south of the scene of the shooting.

After officers were able to obtain even more video surveillance footage, the affidavit indicated, they were able to use it to spot Ecklund’s Kia parked in front of the shooting location several hours prior to the incident. The alleged pimp and Ecklund returned to the vehicle before the shooting, the affidavit said, and Ecklund could be seen retrieving a firearm from the driver’s side of the vehicle. She continued to be visible as she walked south on the sidewalk with the weapon in her right hand, the affidavit added.

As she approached the scene of the shooting, the affidavit said, she also could be seen chambering a round in the firearm and then “walking swiftly towards the corner of the building.” She approached the crowd in front of the building, the affidavit noted, and then returned to her car.

The affidavit also pointed out that a hurricane-proof window in the building was shattered by a bullet. The window was valued at $3,240, the affidavit said. “A large projectile was located inside the business,” the affidavit added.

Ruggles still refused to cooperate with the investigation, the affidavit said.

Detectives do not believe other victims or suspects are associated with this incident, the Police Department news release added.

A News Leader check of prior cases involving Ecklund found that the Police Department charged her in October 2019 with a count of Lodging Out of Doors. She was fined a total of $343, with court costs included. However, in April of this year, the case was sent to a collections agency to pursue payment.

Her only other charge, shown in 12th Judicial Circuit Court records, was a charge for failure to obey a traffic device. That occurred in 2012.