Sarasota Police Department is trumpeting its ability to have an attempted murder suspect to turn himself in through collaboration in the community.
The department, now under the watch of Police Chief Bernadette DiPino, has attempted murder suspect Joseph Lamar in custody and have charged him with attempted murder and aggravated battery for a shooting Tuesday, according to police.
Lamar turned himself in at Sarasota Police Headquarters on Adams Lane at about 5 p.m., and by his side were the Rev. Kelvin Lumpkin, a city commission candidate and leader of an anti-crime ministerial alliance FOCUS group; Trevor Harvey, president of the Sarasota NAACP and Leslie Williams, according to police. DiPino and Capt. Lucius Bonner were on hand to take Lamar into custody, police said.
The meeting between the suspect and the group had been arranged thanks to the efforts of the police chief, Lamar’s family, and the community leaders, police said.
"This collaborative effort is an example of how reaching out to the community can create win-win situations," Capt. Paul Sutton said in a news release. "The suspect was taken into custody without incident and the community avoided the possibility of a potentially hazardous arrest."
Lamar, 39, was just released out of prison in September after serving 19 years for a convicted murder sentence.
The latest shooting occurred at about 10:18 p.m. Tuesday in the 3200 block of Lemon Avenue where a 22-year-old man was transported by helicopter to Blake Medical Center and a 19-year-old man was treated at Sarasota Memorial Hospital for his injuries, according to police.
Police are also looking into whether the shooting is classified as a hate crime, WWSB reported.
One of the victims is a transgered male dressed in women's clothing, but the man has not had the surgery to become a female, WWSB reported:
"Lamar faces serious charges from the shooting itself, but could face more if police learn that it connects to a victim's gender. “If we find out that it is involved with a hate crime, we will aggressively go after bringing charges. Right now we have no evidence of that specifically,” says Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino."
The investigation is continuing.