After receiving reports of a fatal shooting at a home in Citrus Park, deputies with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department identified two men they believe to have been responsible for the robbery-turned-homicide. One suspect is accused of carrying out the robbery and murders, while the second was booked for accessory to the deed.
According to initial reports filed by local law enforcement, the incident is believed to have taken place on Sunday, May 5th, in the morning. Authorities were alerted to the crime when a witness walked into the sheriff's office around 11 AM and reported the assault to officers. After entering the home, located on the 7400 block of Manhattan Drive, the person had discovered two elderly women, aged 56 and 52, who had been shot by an unknown criminal. A third victim, 35, was found down the street, where she had fled after taking a gunshot.
The 52-year old and 35-year old mother and daughter, believed to have been living together in the residence, were rushed to nearby St. Josephs Hospital for treatment, where the older woman later passed from her injuries. Her daughter remains in critical condition at the medical center, but hospital officials say they are hopeful she will survive. The 56-year old, a family friend, was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency responders.
After an initial investigation, sheriff's deputies say they quickly identified two suspects alleged to have been involved in the assault. The suspected shooter, a 37-year Tampa man described by authorities as a "career offender" with a lengthy criminal record, was arrested later on Sunday and placed into custody at the Hillsborough County jail, where he is being held without bail. He has been charged with two counts of murder in the first degree, one count of attempted murder in the first degree, aggravated assault, and robbery.
The second offender, a 47-year old man, was charged with accessory to murder. Investigators believe he had conducted several marijuana and prescription drug transactions with the victims, who are suspected of being small-time narcotics dealers. The second man is accused of identifying their home as a target for robbery to the alleged shooter, as well as driving the man to the crime scene.
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