Montell Purter, 16, of Fort Pierce, arrested May 6 by St. Lucie County Sheriff’s detectives for shooting into an occupied home that day, now faces an attempted murder charge for shooting a 16-year-old boy on a bicycle March 31, according to St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken J. Mascara.
“On March 31, Frantravious A. Reed, 16, was riding a bicycle near North 39th Street and Avenue I when he was shot in his lower abdomen,” Sheriff Mascara said. “On Tuesday, we arrested Montell Purter for that shooting, thanks to some great forensics work by the Indian River Crime Lab in Fort Pierce. “This defendant at age 16 was involved in two violent acts. With violence such as this plaguing our community, it is appropriate that he be brought before the adult court to face these charges.”
Deputies recovered a bullet from the shooting of Reed. Crime lab technicians analyzed that bullet and determined it was fired from the same .38-caliber revolver Purter used on May 6 to shoot into a home on Avenue K, Sheriff Mascara said.
In the May 6 shooting, a woman asleep in the Avenue K home was awakened by the sound of gunfire but was not hit by any of the bullets. A Sheriff’s Office K-9 team tracked the suspect from the Avenue K home to 3518 Sloan Road, where Purter lived. Deputies obtained his mother’s permission to search the home and found the revolver in a laundry basket and five spent shell casings in a trash can outside the home.
Purter admitted he shot into the Avenue K home. Deputies arrested him May 6 took him to the St. Lucie Regional Juvenile Detention Center, Fort Pierce, a facility operated by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.
Once detectives learned that the same revolver was used to shoot Reed on March 31, they interviewed Purter Tuesday. He admitted finding the gun in the woods in February and had not let anyone borrow it since then.
Purter told detectives that on the night of March 31, he was walking home from a friend’s house and at North 39th Street and Avenue I, he saw someone on a bicycle riding toward him. He said he didn’t recognize the youth on the bike. He said the youth pointed a black pistol at him, that he pulled his gun from his right front pocket and shot three times.
The victim in that shooting had told investigators that he was unarmed, and deputies didn’t find a gun when they searched the area at the time.
Detectives arrested Purter Tuesday for the March 31 shooting of Frantravious Reed and booked him into the St. Lucie County jail. The State Attorney’s Office previously had decided to charge Purter as an adult in the May 6 shooting.