A fatal car crash is now being investigated by police as a homicide after it was discovered the victim suffered gunshot wounds before the crash.
The St. Petersburg Police Department in Florida issued a press release on their social media pages on Sunday explaining the situation.
Demond Perry, 26, crashed on Tyrone Blvd after losing control of the white Infiniti he was driving on Saturday at 3 a.m. After flipping his car, Perry suffered severe burns and was transported to a hospital where he died.
The St. Petersburg Police Department is offering a reward for anyone who comes forward with information regarding the shooting and death of Perry.
On the police department’s Facebook page they gave details on the crash and the ongoing investigation.
“Fatal crash now investigated as Homicide,” it said in a status post.
“There is a reward of up to $5,000 offered for information about the homicide of Demond Perry. The reward is offered through Crime Stoppers.
“Investigators have learned that 26-year-old Demond Lamar Perry suffered gunshot wounds before he crashed the white Infiniti he was driving on February 12, at 3 a.m.
“He was travelling south on Tyrone Blvd when he lost control near 9th Avenue North. His car flipped and caught fire.
“Fire Rescue removed Perry and he was transported to Tampa General with severe burns. He died hours later from his injuries.
“This is the first homicide in St. Petersburg in 2022.”
Newsweek has contacted the St. Petersburg Police Department for comment.
In November 2021, then-St. Petersburg mayor-elect Ken Welch spoke on what was needed to reduce crime in the community.
“You have got a whole mindset of needing to reach these kids early connect them with opportunity and then give them real options,” he said in a video posted on YouTube by 10 Tampa Bay.
“That is the way I want to be, hands-on in a new way and connecting to kids that we haven’t reached at this point. That is how you reach true safety long term,” he said.
He added: “We had an elementary school kid tell us they could get a gun on Snapchat.
“You could put 1,000 more police on the ground and you can’t change a child who sees no opportunity, sees no consequence.”
In the same video, St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway spoke about the importance of parent involvement to stop gun crime.
“Once you pull that trigger and that bullet leaves that gun you can’t say you are sorry, you can’t bring it back.
“Parents need to be involved in this, the community needs to be involved in this.”