Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Public safety

Woman shoots 7-year-old grandson she mistook for an intruder

TAMPA — Lying in bed early Tuesday morning, Linda Maddox heard a noise.

She felt unsafe when her son, Reginald, would work nights, authorities said. So before she went to sleep, she propped a chair against the bedroom door and kept a gun at the ready.

When she heard the chair scraping against the wood floor, authorities say, she thought it was an intruder.

Maddox, 63, grabbed the .22-caliber pistol she kept near the bed. She pointed it toward the door and, in the darkness, fired a shot. The next thing she heard was the scream of her 7-year-old grandson.

When the lights came on, Tyler Maddox lay near the door, his torso pierced by a single bullet. Rescue personnel took the critically injured boy to St. Joseph's Hospital early Tuesday, the victim of what authorities labeled an accident.

Tyler was sleeping with his twin brother, Tyrique, in his grandmother's room in the modest five-bedroom house at 6505 Alta Monte Drive, according to Hillsborough County sheriff's officials. About 1 a.m., he got up and tried to leave the room.

Deputies investigated the incident and concluded that Linda Maddox mistook her grandson for a burglar. She is not likely to face charges, officials said.

Tyler Maddox emerged from surgery and remained in critical but stable condition late Tuesday morning, the Sheriff's Office said.

He and his brother live at the home with their father, Reginald Maddox, 46, a postal worker, records indicate.

Neither Reginald nor Linda Maddox have had run-ins with the law, according to state records.

Sheriff's deputies have been called to the house at least eight times since 2011, including a call about a suspicious person, a suspicious vehicle and an identity theft case in which Linda Maddox was the victim. But none of those visits appear to have resulted in anything significant, a sheriff's spokeswoman said.

Several neighbors who live near the home on Alta Monte Drive described the block as quiet. Sylvia Hehemann, who has lived there for 43 years, said residents are friendly and she feels safe walking around her neighborhood.

"It's a tragedy," she said. "I don't know of any problems we've had in the neighborhood."

But David Swain, 47, who lives on the opposite side of the street from Linda Maddox, said he has seen more thefts in recent years.

Two solar lights were stolen from his front yard and later a brick was thrown through his window, prompting him to install security cameras. He was the victim of a burglary about three years ago by someone who removed the back window, he said.

"You used to be able to leave the front door open and go to sleep," said Swain, who has lived in the neighborhood for more than 30 years.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office child protection investigators once "had contact" with a household member at the home's address in 2011, but said the case did not involve the boy or his grandmother.

Linda Maddox has owned the home since 1986, property records show. In 2013, she helped run a business known as J's House for Girls, which operated partly out of the home. The business was described in state corporate filings as a group home for teen girls preparing to leave the foster care system.

A man who answered the door at the home Tuesday declined to comment. Shortly after, he walked outside with a woman and at least one child, got into a four-door Volkswagen and drove away.

Times news researcher John Martin and staff writer Keeley Sheehan contributed to this report, which also included information from the Associated Press. Contact Dan Sullivan at [email protected] or (813) 226-3386. Follow @TimesDan.

     
 
Comments
New Port Richey man faces sexual battery charge

New Port Richey man faces sexual battery charge

NEW PORT RICHEY — A 33-year-old man was arrested Monday on a charge of sexual battery, accused of assaulting a 10-year-old girl.Jonathan Wells was booked into the Pasco County jail, where he was being held Tuesday without bail.The assault took place ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
St. Petersburg power outage affects thousands

St. Petersburg power outage affects thousands

More than 2,000 Duke Energy customers are without power after a cluster of storms rolled through earlier this afternoon, according to Duke Energy.The area without power stretches along 62nd Avenue N from 12th Street N to 30th Way N, according to the ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Safety Harbor fire chief departs: ‘Take pride in the job’

Safety Harbor fire chief departs: ‘Take pride in the job’

SAFETY HARBOR — When Fire Chief Joe Accetta started working at the Safety Harbor Fire Department, Fire Station 53 was a double wide in the middle of a field now home to Mease Countryside Hospital.Now almost four decades of challenges and promotions l...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Deputies search for suspects in rapper XXXTentacion slaying

Deputies search for suspects in rapper XXXTentacion slaying

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. — Deputies were searching for suspects Tuesday after troubled rapper-singer XXXTentacion was fatally shot in the driver’s seat of a luxury electric sports car. The 20-year-old rising star, who pronounced his stage name "Ex Ex Ex...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Lakeland father, girlfriend face charges in death of 6-year-old girl

Lakeland father, girlfriend face charges in death of 6-year-old girl

A Lakeland man and his girlfriend face charges of first-degree murder and aggravated manslaughter in the death of his 6-year-old daughter last week.Larry Lewis Golden Jr., 26, Breonna B. Wren, 21, were arrested Friday and are being held without bail ...
Published: 06/19/18
Argument over dog leads to fatal shooting in Polk County

Argument over dog leads to fatal shooting in Polk County

A Fort Meade man was killed Monday night and two others were wounded after Polk County deputies say they approached a man while searching for a lost dog.The shooting occurred around 6:45 p.m. at the home of suspected shooter Charles Peddycoart, at 41...
Published: 06/19/18
Deadly Sunday for swimmers in bay area waters

Deadly Sunday for swimmers in bay area waters

Two people drowned and another suffered life-threatening injuries in the waters of Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday.Investigators said all three cases appear to be accidents, but the incidents stand as a reminder that summer, with vacation ...
Published: 06/18/18
Pinellas deputies arrest Mississippi man 31 years after sexual battery

Pinellas deputies arrest Mississippi man 31 years after sexual battery

SEMINOLE — She was 22 when deputies said a man forced her at knifepoint into the woods off Seminole Boulevard and sexually battered her in February 1987.The case went cold, but now the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said it has arrested the man it ...
Published: 06/18/18
Tampa police seek driver who struck pedestrian and drove off

Tampa police seek driver who struck pedestrian and drove off

TAMPA — Police are seeking the public’s help in locating the driver who fatally struck a pedestrian on Sunday night and then drove off.The incident took place at 9:15 p.m. near the intersection of N Nebraska Avenue and E Linebaugh Avenue.No details a...
Published: 06/18/18
St. Petersburg teen, seven months pregnant, dies in Pasco crash

St. Petersburg teen, seven months pregnant, dies in Pasco crash

HUDSON — A 16-year-old St. Petersburg teen who was seven months pregnant was fatally injured in a crash Sunday night, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.The incident took place at 9:11 p.m. on Little Road south of Hudson Avenue. The teen, Emily ...
Published: 06/18/18