Morning lockdowns in Hillsborough schools
Update: The lockdown at 18 northern Hillsborough schools has been lifted as police apprehended suspect Charlie Bates. He died in custody after a shoot-out around noon along U.S. 301.
Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputies said Friday morning they’d tracked an assault and home invasion suspect to a stretch of woods north of 42nd Street and south of Amberly Drive in Tampa.
The school district, in what it called an abundance of caution, initiated modified lockdowns at MOSI Partnership, Bowers-Whitley Career Center, Pizzo Elementary, USF-Patel, Muller Elementary, Witter Elementary, Turner Elementary, Bartels Middle, Pride Elementary, Clark Elementary, Wharton High, Heritage Elementary, Benito Middle, Hunters Green Elementary. Liberty Middle, Freedom High, Chiles Elementary and Tampa Palms Elementary.
Modified lockdown means classes are still in sesion, but outdoor activities are cancelled. Each school is staffed with security, school district officials said.
Officers said beginning around 11 p.m. Thursday, a suspect forced his way into an apartment near 42nd Street north of East Fletcher Avenue. He bound the four men and sexually assaulted the four women inside, and instructed the victims not to call police for 30 minutes. They followed those instructions out of fear, deputies said. The suspect then entered a second home, left and then entered a party in another apartment complex where he forced 25 people into a bedroom at gunpoint and fired at least one round into the carpet before leaving the scene, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department said. The suspect also allegedly fired at a man he encountered outside the party.
This story will be updated throughout the day