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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Middle District of Florida
Roger B. Handberg, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Thursday, February 1, 2024

Convicted Felon Indicted for Possession of Firearm and Ammunition in Connection with St. Petersburg Shooting

TAMPA, Fla. — U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces the return of an indictment charging Daniel Gonzalez, 23, of St. Petersburg, with possessing a firearm and ammunition as a convicted felon. If convicted, Gonzalez faces up to 15 years in federal prison.

According to court proceedings, the charges arise from a Jan. 1, 2023, shooting in a St. Peterburg parking garage during which a 16-year-old was shot. After the shooting, responding officers from the St. Petersburg Police Department observed a vehicle fleeing the parking garage. The officers followed the vehicle for a short period of time until the pursuit was terminated due to weather conditions. Soon after, a Springfield Armory Hellcat 9mm pistol was found in the road where officers had observed the vehicle fleeing. The firearm was swabbed for DNA and Gonzalez’s DNA was found on two different parts of the firearm.

At the time, Gonzalez had a prior felony conviction for sale or delivery of a controlled substance. As a convicted felon, he is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.          

This case was investigated by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the St. Petersburg Police Department. It will be prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Samantha Newman.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department of Justice launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities and measuring the results.


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