Two more shootings occur in Newtown, with an adult in each case sustaining ‘non-life-threatening injuries’

Sarasota Police Department seeking any information public may have about incidents

The red balloon on this map marks the location of the 1800 block of 20th Street in Sarasota. Image from Google Maps

Two more shootings have been reported in the Newtown community of Sarasota over the past week, the Sarasota Police Department has reported. In each case, an adult victim sustained non-life-threatening injuries, news releases pointed out.

On the morning of July 5, a shooting occurred shortly after midnight near the 1800 block of 20th Street, the related news release said. Then, soon after 3 a.m. on Tuesday, July 9, a shooting took place near the 1500 block of 31st Street, the agency reported in another news release.

This aerial map shows the location of the 1500 block of 31st Street in Sarasota. Image from Google Maps

By count of The Sarasota News Leader, these are the ninth and 10th shootings in Newtown since Jan. 1.

The July 5 scene was south of the sites of two shooting incidents reported last week, in one of which a victim was killed.

This aerial map shows Dixie Avenue, which is west of U.S. 301. It intersects both 23rd and 24th streets. Two shootings last week occurred in this general area of Newtown. Image from Google Maps

The July 9 incident occurred east of North Lemon Avenue, near Booker High School, a map shows. A News Leader review of an aerial map shows that the location is east of North Orange Avenue and west of U.S. 301.

The July 5 shooting appeared to be isolated, the Police Department pointed out in that release, adding that “there is no immediate danger to the public.”

A News Leader review of comments on the Police Department’s Facebook page in regard to the July 5 incident found the following exchange between two men:

“What do the community leaders in Newtown have to say about the crime in their neighborhood?” the first person wrote.

The second individual responded, “Some are quick to complain and blame (The Police) but refuse to cooperate with a solution, some ARE trying for progress and some are just lost. This ‘community’ Newtown is a part of the City of Sarasota which must adhere to the laws and ordinances of this City just like every other ‘community’ in this city, no special treatment, Laws need to be enforced, CODE Enforcement needs to REALLY step it up! Our city politicians who control our Police Department need to take a hard look at their agenda and motives and turn this around before it REALLY gets out of control. We have a very well trained, well guided (when they are allowed to) Police Department, let them work!”

In another exchange on the Police Department’s Facebook page  regarding the same incident, a third individual wrote, “Police need to be more proactive in those neighborhoods.”

A man replied, “I see SPD patrolling all the time in that area and the rest of Sarasota. Our police department does a great job and is very transparent about things that happen here.

“Unfortunately,” the man continued, “people are able to get weapons that definitely should not have them. Sadly so many chose to use a gun because they can’t deal with things like an adult.”

In response to the news about the July 9 shooting, a woman wrote the following on the Police Department’s Facebook page: “The neighborhood needs a 9pm curfew immediately to help protect the community. Please police chief put this in place.”

The count of shootings in Newtown has been rising as the community has been dealing with higher temperatures and humidity, which are typical in Sarasota County during the summer.

In December 2022, the JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) Network published an Analysis of Daily Ambient Temperature and Firearm Violence in 100 US Cities. The key question for that research, the website said, was this: “Are higher temperatures associated with increased risk of a firearm shooting?”

“In this cross-sectional analysis of the 100 cities with largest burden of firearm shootings in the US,” the website added, “6.85% of all shootings were associated with above-average temperatures.” That finding indicated “a need for heat adaptation strategies for mitigation of risk of firearm shootings,” the website pointed out.

The News Leader checked the high temperatures recorded by the National Weather Service at the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport for the first nine days of July. That data follow:

This National Weather Service graphic shows the high temperatures recorded at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport for the first nine days of July. Image courtesy NWS

Anyone with any information about the July 5 and July 9 incidents is asked to call the Police Department’s non-emergency number, 941-316-1199. However, if a person prefers, the news releases say, the individual may leave an anonymous tip with CrimeStoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS or going online at