ST. PETERSBURG With two police cars close behind, Alfonso Mackey pulled the silver Monte Carlo across the double-yellow line on 15th Avenue South, hit the gas and sped around the slower-moving car in front of him, police said.
Mackey and a friend had just robbed the Family Dollar Store at 1720 16th St. N., and he was trying to elude the pursuing police officers, according to a police report. Nineteen-year-old Dijon Senay Jackson was sitting next to him in the front passenger’s seat.
Clearing the other car, the Monte Carlo swerved back into the eastbound lane, then hit the curb, and its brakes locked. The car slid, spun counterclockwise and hit a tree, near 40th Street South.
Paramedics pulled Mackey from the car and took him to Bayfront Medical Center. Jackson, who had been in town for several weeks visiting from Pittsburgh, died there.
Mackey, 31, of 3601 Abington Ave. S. in St. Petersburg, and a man police have not identified walked into the Family Dollar Store a few minutes before 8 p.m. Thursday, police said.
Pointing a long-barrelled pistol at the clerk, Mackey walked into the store and behind the counter, telling the cashier to open the cash register, according to a surveillance video released Friday. But the man behind the counter was too nervous. So Mackey fired off a round, grabbed several packs of cigarettes and ran out of the store, along with the man with him, who had been talking on a cell phone but didn’t show a weapon, police said.
The Monte Carlo was parked behind the store. A witness called in a description of the car to police.
Ten minutes later, a special undercover unit specializing in surveillance spotted the Monte Carlo and saw three people inside, said police department spokesman Bill Proffitt.
The undercover officers lost sight of the car, and by the time they found it again there were only two people inside: Mackey and Jackson. It’s possible the third person in the car was Mackey’s accomplice and that he got out of the car before police found it again, Proffitt said.
Patrol officers tried to pull over the Monte Carol and chased it for about nine blocks before it crashed.
Inside the car, police say they found the pistol Mackey used during the robbery, along with the cigarettes he stole.
Police are not sure whether Jackson was waiting in the car during the robbery or if she got in later.
Mackey was hospitalized for injuries described as nonlife-threatening. He faces charges of armed robbery, fleeing and eluding and charges related to Jackson’s death after he’s released from the hospital, according to police. He was released from prison in October after serving a 10-year prison sentence for carjacking.
Investigators are trying to identify Mackey’s accomplice but have only a vague description of him because his face was covered during the robbery. To watch the surveillance video, go to http://bit.ly/14ieJdD.
Anyone with information is asked to call (727) 893-7780, text tips to (727) 420-8911 or leave a confidential tip at (727) 892-5000.