The Sarasota high school cheerleader who was fatally shot at a Bradenton parking lot early Monday was struck by a stray bullet while in the backseat of a car, investigators said.
Teria’le Rawls, 17, her sister and a friend were leaving the gathering after learning there was nobody there they knew. “Bradenton people,” her sister told investigators.
As they were heading for the exit, gunfire broke out, and one of the bullets hit Rawls in the head, dying as her sister and friend raced for help before locating an amblance on the way.
Two men face murder charges after the shooting. Frank Brice, 19, of Palmetto, turned himself into authorities Tuesday, and Jasper Dudley, 19, of Bradenton, was taken into custody Monday night.
A witness said the gunfire began as a group of youths had gathered outside the Royal Palm Theater, 5126 26th St. E., shortly before 2 a.m., according to an arrest affidavit.
The witness said several vehicles, including a white sports utility vehicle, began to drive around the lot’s perimeter. According to the witness, the SUV’s driver fired a gunshot into the air and another in an unknown direction, the affidavit said. The vehicles then attempted to flee.
The witness said two men, later identified as Brice and Dudley, then began to fire several rounds at the fleeing vehicles, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office said.
Rawls, her sister, Jeniyah Moore, and a friend driving their gold Dodge, Clyde Lee, were already heading for the lot’s south exit, the affidavit said.
Moore told investigators she began to hear gunshots and turned around, when she saw Rawls bleeding from the head and collapsing in the backseat, the affidavit said.
Lee continued to drive toward Sarasota in an attempt to get Rawls to a hospital, investigators said. Lee located an ambulance and Florida Highway Patrol vehicle just south of University Parkway, investigators said. He stopped to get assistance, but Rawls was pronounced dead.
Earlier, Rawls, who attended Riverview High School, and Moore had been at the Touch of Class nightclub in Bradenton for a teen party that ended at 12:30 a.m., the affidavit said.
They left in the Dodge and soon after met up with Lee and another youth who were in another vehicle, the affidavit said. Lee changed vehicles and began to drive the Dodge. They decided to check out a party at the Bradenton Riverwalk, then learned the gathering was moved to the theater, the affidavit said.
They were only at the parking lot a short time before deciding to leave and the shooting began, the affidavit said.
The SUV and its driver were later located by authorities, the sheriff’s office said. He denied having a gun or shooting from the vehicle, the affidavit said. The SUV was seized in anticipation of a search warrant, the sheriff’s office said.
Brice was not allowed to carry a firearm based on a felony case from 2011, the sheriff’s office said.
Brice, of 415 40th St., and Jasper, of 916 60th Ave. Terrace W., No. A, were being held at the Manatee County Jail with no bail set.