Ybor City parking garage shooting that left 3 injured raises safety concerns once again

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — An early morning shooting in Ybor City Saturday left three men injured. Now, some are raising new safety concerns in Ybor.

Tampa Police say their officers heard shots fired in the Centro Ybor Parking garage on East 5th Avenue just before 3 a.m. and immediately responded.

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“Our officers were in the area, running toward danger, were able to provide first aid and were able to apprehend and make the arrest of the suspect,” said Tampa Police Chief Lee Bercaw.

Officers arrested 21-year-old Sunny Wallace and found a weapon in his car.

Bercaw said the suspect tried to run over officers in the garage.

“That suspect was coming down the building, in the parking garage, and actually steered the car toward one of my officers. Fortunately, they were able to jump out of the way and prevent from getting hit by the car,” said Bercaw.

Hal Dietrick lives in Ybor City but doesn’t come to 7th Avenue after 10 p.m.

“It totally changes. It’s a totally different crowd then,” said Dietrick. He does feel safe living in Ybor City.

“I come down here during the day. I’m never here probably after 10 p.m., and during that time, it seems pretty good, honestly,” said Dietrick.

Tanya Hasse works in an insurance business in Ybor and also feels safe during the day.

“Our business is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., which is before the riff-raff, so to speak, will start,” said Hasse. She also avoids Ybor late at night.

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“I think it’s not as safe as it once was. I think it could be stepped up immensely,” said Hasse.

Carmine Iavarone owns Carmine’s Restaurant. His family has been in Ybor City for generations.
He says the shootings that have happened in Ybor do impact business, but he’s seeing positive changes.

“It does impact us, but we are on the move in the right direction to pretty much take care of these problems,” said Iavarone.

He says Ybor Developer Darryl Shaw is shifting Ybor to have more residential property with more restaurants.

“We feel that is the new direction for Ybor,” said Iavarone.

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