Thief struck before gunman

Last month, someone stole a safe from the home where a man and a girl were shot Thursday.

Published September 30, 2006

ST. PETERSBURG - A month before a gunman shot up Ernestine Rembert's Bay Vista home and injured her grandson and great-granddaughter, someone broke into the home and stole a safe.

Someone entered the house at 828 56th Ave S through an open sliding glass door Aug. 29, police records show. A small safe with an unknown amount of cash was taken. No arrests have been made.

Hours before Thursday night's shooting, the safe's owner was released from jail on drug-related charges.

Rembert said she's unsure whether the burglary and the shooting are connected.

"It could be random," said Rembert, 68, a semiretired nurse. "It's not a common thing in this neighborhood."

About 9 p.m. Thursday, Rembert's grandson and great-granddaughter were shot after a man in black clothing rang the doorbell.

Daylon Rembert, 30, closed the door as soon as he saw the gunman but was struck by a bullet in the forearm. Another bullet hit his daughter, Daylynn, 8, who was in a front bedroom near the door completing a homework assignment.

Both were released from the hospital early Friday.

The gunman shot out three of the home's windows before running away.

Daylon Rembert described the shooter as a black man in his 20s with short dreadlocks.

Police spokesman George Kajtsa said detectives cannot say whether the shooting was random. Still, neighborhood residents should be on alert, he said.

Records show that Daylon Rembert, a Wal-Mart employee, has a Pinellas County criminal record dating back 10 years that includes charges of resisting arrest, aggravated battery and possession of cocaine.

In April, he was placed on two years of probation on charges of resisting arrest, driving with a suspended license and marijuana possession.

His cousin, Anre J. Davis, 25, who also lives at the home, has an arrest record that dates back to 1999 and includes charges of sexual assault, robbery and marijuana possession.

Davis was arrested Tuesday on charges of cocaine possession and resisting an officer. He was released from jail about noon Thursday, nine hours before the shooting at his grandmother's house.

Records show he owned the safe that was stolen.

On Friday, the quiet neighborhood of ranch-style homes and wide, grassy lawns was quiet.

A small bullet hole marked Ernestine Rembert's front door.

"This is a pretty safe neighborhood," said Donald Mitchell Sr., 44, who lives across the street from Rembert. "Nothing like this has happened here before. People get crazy these days."

Melanie Ave can be reached at 727 893-8813 or mave@sptimes.com.