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Three teens, 12-year-old shot at birthday party in St. Pete

Published:   |   Updated: April 29, 2013 at 05:37 AM

Police are searching for suspects after three teens and a 12-year-old were wounded in a shootout at a birthday party in St. Petersburg on Saturday.

A12-year-old male, 13-year-old female and two 15-year-old males, one with life-threatening injuries, are being treated after gunfire broke out during the party at 3634 Third Ave. S. about 10:30 p.m., St. Petersburg Police said.

Officers, who were in the area, heard gunshots and arrived at the scene before being dispatched, police said.

The officers found multiple shell casings from various caliber handguns and attempted to break up the large crowd, police said. At the time, none of the approximately 150 guests at the party reported that anyone had been shot, police said. But during the investigation two shooting victims arrived at Bayfront Medical Center and two at All Children's Hospital.

During the party at least one occupant of a white, newer-model vehicle drove by and fired a handgun into the air, police said. In response, a guest at the party fired several rounds back at the vehicle and hit two 15-year-old boys riding inside, police said.

One of the 15-year-old boys was in critical, but stable condition at Bayfront Medical Center, police said. The wounds to the other victims were not considered life threatening, police said.

It was unclear whether the 12-year-old boy and 13-year-old girl, who were bystanders at the party, were hit by gunfire from the car or another guest.

No suspects have been identified and police did not release the victims' names.

Detectives continue to investigate but believe the shooting was a result of an on-going rivalry between two neighborhood groups, police said.

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