Florida man shot dead at boxing match promoting fight against gun violence, police say

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Source: St. Petersburg police; MEGA

Nov. 2 2021, Published 9:17 a.m. ET

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Two groups attending a “Stop the Violence” boxing match in a Florida parking lot got into a fight with each other and a person ended up dead, police said.

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Just after 8 p.m. Oct. 30, officers responded to reports of a shooting behind the Skyway Plaza Shopping Center in St. Petersbur, Florida.

On the scene, police discovered a makeshift outdoor boxing ring and three men and two women shot, including 21-year-old Trevon Montrell Barton, who passed away from his injuries at a local hospital.

According to St. Petersburg Police Department Spokesperson Yolanda Fernandez, the deadly incident occured in an area that's surrounded by a high concrete wall that makes it difficult to see anything from the street. “It is a full-blown boxing ring with chairs set up and a couple of hundred people attending this boxing match.”

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On Oct. 31, police arrested Robert Lee Cooley, 21, and alleged he got into a fight at the match with other spectators and that led to the shooting, WTVT reported.

Cooley faces charges of carrying a concealed firearm and discharging a firearm in public.

A Neighborhood Boxing League member identified as Pielay participated in the event shortly before the shooting.

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"I'm thinking, 'Why is stuff like this going on at an event that says Gloves up, Guns down?'" he told Bay News 9 of learning about the fatality after he left the event.

The Neighborhood Boxing League said in a statement, "We do not promote gun violence in any shape or form and want to acknowledge that the shooting that took Saturday night was not a result of the event."

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