St. Petersburg Teen Found Dead in Stolen Van

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — A 15-year-old boy was accidentally shot and left for dead in a stolen van by a group of people who had been looking for another vehicle to steal, police said.

Carl Martin’s body was found Thursday in a stolen van parked in an alley in St. Petersburg.

Martin was one of five suspects driving the van from St. Petersburg to nearby St. Pete Beach in search of another vehicle to steal, police spokesman Mike Puetz said.

Martin sat in the front passenger seat. Sitting behind him was 18-year-old Demontray Lovett, who was armed with a loaded gun, Puetz said.

While the group was in St. Pete Beach, Lovett accidentally fired the gun, and the bullet traveled through the front seat into Martin’s upper torso, Puetz said.

With Martin critically wounded and losing consciousness, the group drove back to St. Petersburg. At some point, believing that Martin had died, the group abandoned the van, Puetz said.

Lovett arrested at his St. Petersburg home Friday night. He has been charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child and delinquent in possession of a firearm. Pinellas County jail records did not show whether he was represented by an attorney Saturday.

No other arrests have been made. Police were still investigating the involvement of the other suspects in the van as well as the theft of the van itself.

The van was reported stolen from a Lakeland apartment complex on Wednesday.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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