Thursday, July 7, 2011

Man shot to death in Bradenton, suspect arrested

MANATEE -- A 46-year-old man was fatally shot within blocks of the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office late Thursday afternoon.

A deputy who was driving along the 3100 block of Ninth Street West noticed Eric Sutton stumbling in the parking lot of Costantino’s Body Shop at about 5 p.m., according to sheriff’s office spokesman Dave Bristow. Sutton was transported to Manatee Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Within hours of the shooting, deputies were able to track down and arrest Jeremy Sneperger, 26, of Bradenton, using information they had gathered from a witness, Bristow said.

Sneperger’s vehicle was spotted off Canal Road in Palmetto. A deputy followed it and pulled it over near Manatee Memorial Hospital in Bradenton, a sheriff’s release said.

“They did outstanding work,” said Manatee County Sheriff Brad Steube. “It all came together very quickly for us.”

Through their investigation it was discovered that Sutton was shot inside a residence and stumbled into the parking lot.

Neither Sneperger nor Sutton lived in the residence where the shooting occurred, a media release said, and it was unclear as to what they were arguing about prior to shots being fired.

The homicide was Manatee County’s third of the year, and the second one where there has been an arrest.

The first arrest came when brothers Paul Royster, 19, and Davon Royster, 16, were charged in the slaying of Orville Uhl, 62, who was fatally shot and stabbed on May 27 in the 5900 block of Sixth Street East.

A 24-year-old man was also wounded in that incident.

In the county’s first homicide case of the year, Antonio Martinez, 33, was shot and killed May 20 following an argument with several people in the 1100 block of 35th Avenue West, according to the sheriff’s office.

Martinez was flown by helicopter to Bayfront Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead.

A few people were taken into questioned ollowing the incident but no arrests have been made.

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