Pasco County Sheriff’s Officials said they were responding to a shooting on the 6400 block of Limerick Avenue. The 911 call came in at 5:11 PM and deputies responded to find a 15 year old boy had been shot. The victim was transported via helicopter to a local hospital. No further information on his status is available.
At a press conference in the neighborhood following the shooting, Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco said that the victim was in critical condition. The alleged shooter in custody was identified as 17-year-old Jerry Chiarella, whom Nocco said had been arrested in the past on weapons charges. Nocco also said the victim was known to authorities because of a robbery of an elderly man as well and the Sheriff’s Office was investigating if there was a gang connection.
Eyewitnesses on scene reported that deputies responded to a house just West of Congress Avenue. Witnesses have since said that the two were arguing over a cell phone which one had agreed to purchase, which eventually led to the shots being fired. The victim apparently turned and ran before three shots were fired, striking him. The shooter then reportedly fled on a black scooter and neighbors called 911. Chiarella later turned himself in at the New Port Richey Police Department police station on Kentucky Avenue.
Nocco said the shooter was driving a scooter and fired three rounds at the victim, hitting him twice in the back and once in the face.
A Facebook video from Chiarella’s Facebook page shows him firing a handgun at a shooting range. The video caption says “Me shooting a Glock .40”
UPDATE: The Sheriff’s Office says that 17 year old Jerry Chiarella of 6324 Tralee Avenue, New Port Richey, has been arrested for attempted homicide and carrying a concealed firearm. Officials say Chiarella fired three shots at the 15 year old victim from a scooter.
The scene earlier tonight after 15 year old victim was shot by suspect, Jerry Chiarella, 17. The victim has previous robbery charges. pic.twitter.com/p18ptt21W1
— Pasco Sheriff (@PascoSheriff) March 24, 2017