15-year-old arrested for Sarasota County Fair Shooting

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SARASOTA, FL – Early this morning, the Sarasota Police Department has arrested Ansel L. Acosta, 15, of Sarasota, in connection to the shooting that happened at the Sarasota County Fairgrounds inside the gates on Saturday, March 20, 2021, just before 10 p.m.

Police said Acosta was arrested at his home early Monday morning, The department noted that information about juveniles charged with felonies is public record and released his name and charges to the public.

Acosta is facing three felony charges including aggravated battery with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, culpable negligence, and brandishing a firearm in public.

“This incident was not an active shooter situation. Sarasota Police detectives are confident this was an isolated incident where a verbal argument between two groups of people escalated into Acosta pulling out a firearm and shooting the victim,” the department said.

Police said Acosta and the victim know each other and this was not a random incident. The victim, who is an 18-year-old man, remains at Sarasota Memorial Hospital in stable condition and is expected to survive. Sarasota Police detectives have learned additional shots were fired in the parking lot after the shooting incident.

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“This was unrelated, no one was injured and detectives believe someone fired a gun into the air,” the department said. “The Sarasota County Fair remains open through March 28, 2021. The Sarasota Police Department has extra officers on patrol at the fairgrounds to continue to keep fairgoers and their families safe.”