Police seek leads in Newtown shootings

- Sunday morning, the sound of gunfire echoed through Ezell Patterson's Sarasota home.  The shots came from up the block at an apartment complex off Palamedila Avenue. One man was hit.

"It seems to me that it's getting worse instead of getting better," complained Patterson. 

It's the fourth shooting in a week, all within blocks of one another.   

On Tuesday, a person was shot in their car off 23rd Street.  On Friday, a man was shot while standing near Pershing Avenue.  Later that morning, another man was shot in the leg off 20th street. 

Police aren't sure if the shootings are connected, but it's caused concern in the Newtown neighborhood. 

"What we have to be aware of is our surrounding. You don't know who is who," said Patterson. 

Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino believes there are some who know what's going on. 

"I really do believe these are targeted. We need our community to help us. We are going to do everything we can to protect those individuals. We just need them to come forward," she said. 

She's planning on holding a meeting on May 24 at 6:30 to discuss gun violence. It'll be at the Robert L Taylor Community center and she's asking the community to attend. 

"Incidents like this draw away from all the successes we've had and all the great partnerships we've had," she said. 

Until then, Chief DiPino pleads for any help from anyone who knows anything. 

"We need citizens to have the courage," she added. 

Anyone with information on the shootings is asked to call the Sarasota Police Department at 941-316-1199. 

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