ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - A possible case of mistaken identity led to a drive-by shooting in St. Petersburg, in which a mother and her 7-year-old daughter escaped a potentially deadly situation, Pinellas County investigators said Friday.
The victims had pulled up to the intersection of 52nd Ave. North and Haines Rd. at about 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving, when another car pulled up alongside them. A passenger in that car opened fire.
"After I heard the first shot, I looked out the window and I saw the smoke coming from between the cars, which obviously was the smoke from the gun," said a neighbor, who didn't want to be identified.
The gunman's car took off. The mother and daughter drove about a block down Haines to Angelo's Mini Mart to get help.
Investigators believe the shooter thought someone else was in the victims' car and was not targeting the people who were actually in it.
"That just floors me that something like that would happen, especially to a woman and child. I have no idea why it happened. But, yeah, dangerous people," the witness said.
The bullet-ridden vehicle ended up parked at a nearby apartment complex. There were four bullet holes in it and a shattered driver's side window.
The mother ended up with some cuts from the broken glass. Her daughter wasn't hurt.
"It's actually amazing that nobody was killed, to know that a bullet doesn't have a name on it. But yeah, she's lucky," said Ramya Brown, who told FOX 13 she's a neighbor of the victims. "If something would have happened, that would have been tragic. I'm just glad she's safe. She's all right."
It's unclear if the mother knew the shooter. The suspect's vehicle is described as a newer sedan, silver in color. Anyone with information is asked to call the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.