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Man, 29, fatally shot in downtown St. Petersburg parking spot dispute

Tampa Bay Times logo Tampa Bay Times 10/4/2021 Bernadette Berdychowski, Tampa Bay Times

ST. PETERSBURG — A 29-year-old man was shot and killed during a dispute over a parking space in downtown over the weekend, police said. Now a 23-year-old man faces a charge of second-degree murder.

The St. Petersburg Police Department did not say when the shooting took place and did not respond to a request for that information. The arrested man was booked into jail about 8:30 a.m. Saturday.

Gilbert Bush wanted to park in a spot in which Charles Bentley was standing in with a group of friends along the 200 block of First Avenue N, according to police.

The two got in an argument, and police said Bentley pulled out a gun and shot Bush multiple times. Bentley then ran from the scene, according to police, but was arrested nearby.

Bush was taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg hospital, where police said he died from his wounds.

On Twitter, Mayor Rick Kriseman wrote about rising gun violence nationwide.

“We are experiencing a violence pandemic in America right now. According to the FBI, homicides jumped 30 percent from 2019, largest increase ever. St. Pete, Tampa Bay have not been immune. Experts have blamed COVID/stress, less opportunity/too much time on young people’s hands...”

He continued: “and let’s face it - too many guns in the wrong hands and too many bad decisions to settle disputes (these aren’t random shootings). We’ll get through this, as we do. Thank you for your patience and for your support of our law enforcement as they work through this.”

Bentley was being held without bail Sunday in the Pinellas County jail.

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