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Man arrested for shooting at largest Pride in Florida

Man arrested for shooting at largest Pride in Florida

A man shouting gay slurs shot a spectator in the leg with a BB gun at the largest Pride parade in Florida last Saturday. 

Cornelius Davis, 20, was arrested and held on a $100,000 bail (€77,000) for shooting at people attending St Pete Parade from a bar’s second floor window in St Petersburg near Tampa, eastern Florida.

The victim, Eric, who did not give his last name, is pushing for Davis to be charged with a hate crime.

Eric was walking to the parade with friends last Saturday (29 June) morning when he felt a sharp sting on his leg. Davis had shouted ‘they should put some clothes on’, ‘this is a disgrace’ and ‘there are kids around’ before shooting.

Eric said he thought his friend ‘who was dressed provocatively’ was the intended target. He said to a local TV station ABC News that he was disappointed to miss the parade but he will be back next year. ‘I’m not going to let one idiot change me from not going again,’ he said.

St Pete Pride organizers said it was the first time in its 11 year history that there’s been a violent incident at the parade.

Executive director Eric Skains, said the shooting didn’t effect Florida’s largest pride event, attended by 125,000 people.

‘No one really noticed,’ said Skains, Tampa Bay Times reports, adding that the fast arrest and health treatment indicated they had done a ‘pretty good job having enough police and medical teams’.