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St. Pete Man Shot, Killed Near Gulfport on May 31
By Debbie Wolfe
St. Petersburg Police are actively investigating a shooting death that occurred near Gulfport on Friday, May 31 and are still asking the public for tips regarding information and possible suspects, a police spokesperson said on Tuesday, June 4.
According to police records, just before 8:30 p.m. on May 31, Me’Arri M. Melton, 19, of 5051 6th Ave. S., St. Petersburg, was shot “somewhere in the 4800 block of 20th Avenue South” near 49th Street South. For about one block while the scene was being processed, 20th Avenue South was closed to traffic.
Video of the scene published on social media showed that a retail area including the King Food Mart, 1958 49th Street S., was also marked off with police tape.
Police said that after being shot, Melton “made it to a nearby home where paramedics were called.”
At 11:37 p.m., police announced that Melton had died of his injuries. According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Melton is formerly of Clearwater.
Police are asking the public for help in the investigation. Tips can be called into the St. Petersburg Police department at 727-893-7780 or sent via text by typing “SPPD” plus the tip information to TIP411, said Sandra Bentil, police spokesperson.
A sampling of police reports from May 23 through May 31 in Gulfport, South Pasadena and St. Pete Beach.
Source: Gulfport Police Department and Pinellas County Crime Viewer
5/23 – Assist citizen in the 5500 Shore Boulevard. A new boat owner was unable to locate his vessel after he left it behind the Casino. He checked the area with no success in case it had drifted. The boat was later located and it was determined that it had broken anchor and drifted away.
5/24 – Traffic arrest at the corner of 49th Street South and 17th Avenue South. Willie Brown was stopped for not wearing a seat belt. He did not have a driver license issued to him and has received multiple traffic citations for driving without a license. He was arrested and transported to the Pinellas County Jail.
5/24 – Hit and run crash in the 3100 block of Beach Boulevard. An officer responded for a hit and run that occurred earlier in the day. A blue Hyundai Elantra was parked on the east side of the road. The vehicle had damage to its passenger side front quarter panel. A witness at one of the businesses stated that she believed that she saw a gray four-door vehicle, possibly a Buick, back out of a space near where the accident occurred and that there was a loud screeching noise as it was backing out.
5/25 – Burglary to a vehicle in the 2600 block of Upton Street South. A resident reported that sometime overnight, someone broke into his work van and stole $45 cash from the glove box.
5/25 – Fraud – misuse of credit card in the 4900 block of 17th Avenue South. A former employee was suspected of stealing a customer’s credit card information and using it.
5/25 – Driving under the influence in the 2800 block of Beach Boulevard. Officer Clague made contact with a driver regarding a domestic dispute that his passenger was involved in. A DUI investigation was conducted and Keith Ostermann was arrested. His breath alcohol content was .145/.146.
5/26 – Theft at the Family Dollar store. A person reported that while he was shopping in the store someone stole his bike, which was parked out front on the sidewalk. Video showed an unknown male get on the bike and ride south through the parking lot.
5/26 – Driving under the influence at the corner of 25th Avenue South and 58th Street South. Officer Clague observed Luis Ortiz operating a scooter on 58th Street South after he was told earlier during an unrelated incident not to operate it because he appeared to be under the influence and he did not have a valid license. A DUI investigation was conducted and Ortiz was arrested. His breath alcohol content was .189/.171.
5/27 – Fraud/theft in the 1900 block of 55th Street South. A resident reported that he suspects that someone he knows stole his credit cards and used them at various locations.
5/28 – Overdose in the 1000 block of 59th Street South. Officers responded for an adult man who appeared to have overdosed. The man was awake when officers arrived, but he was spitting up blood. The man was transported to the hospital. Officers found a blue pill and a spoon nearby.
5/28 – Retail theft in the 5000 block of Gulfport Boulevard South. An officer responded to a call of a man who loaded a shopping cart with meat and other items from Save-A-Lot and left the store without paying for the merchandise. He also stole the shopping cart. Officers searched for the suspect but were not able to locate him.
5/28 – Burglary to a vehicle in the 5300 block of 12th Avenue South. A resident reported that someone got into his unlocked car sometime between May 24 and May 27 and took his laptop.
5/29 – Assist outside agency in the 1400 block of 59th Street South. Officers assisted EMS with a combative patient who refused to go to the hospital.
5/23 to 5/29 — The Marine Unit was on the water for approximately seven hours this week. The marine unit members also participated in a training block with a FWC officer regarding the derelict vessel program.
Battery – sexual
5/27, 12:30 p.m., 2000 block of 52nd Street S
Burglary – vehicle
5/27, 5 p.m., 5300 block of 12th Avenue S
5/31, 7:45 p.m., 2800 block of Beach Boulevard
5/31, 10 p.m., 4500 block of 27th Avenue S
5/27, 8:42 p.m., 5000 block of Gulfport Boulevard S
Theft – grand
5/24, 6 p.m., 4900 block of 17th Avenue S
Theft – petit
5/25, 11:35 a.m., 5000 block of Gulfport Boulevard S
5/26, 10 p.m., 1900 block of 55th Street S
5/28, 2:30 p.m., 5500 block of 28th Avenue S
Theft – vehicle
5/29, 9 p.m., 2600 block of 45th Street S
Theft – grand
5/26, 7 p.m., 1400 block of Pasadena Avenue S
5/29, noon, 1200 block of Pasadena Avenue S
St. Pete Beach
Battery – sexual
5/25, 9:12 p.m., 6300 block of Gulf Boulevard
Theft – grand
5/26, 6:36 p.m., 6300 block of Gulf Boulevard
5/30, 12:42 p.m., Gulf Boulevard and 72nd Avenue
Theft – petit
5/27, 4:15 p.m., 6100 block of Gulf Boulevard
5/28, 7:20 p.m., 4500 block of Gulf Boulevard