Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Answers elude St. Petersburg police in shooting of Paris Whitehead-Hamilton, 8

ST. PETERSBURG — More than a week after an 8-year-old girl was killed in her home by bullets meant for someone else, police said they are still searching for answers.

They don't know where the high-powered weapons used in the slaying of Paris Whitehead-Hamilton came from, and they don't know if the shooters realized how many people were in the home when they opened fire.

"I don't know what these guys were thinking," said Assistant Chief David DeKay. "All those people in the house, how could they possibly intend to hit one out of the nine?"

The Police Department is working with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to trace the AR-15 semiautomatic rifles seized in the investigation.

Police spokesman Bill Proffitt said there have been no new arrests. Police also have not received any significant new tips, he said.

Four people have been arrested on charges related to the killing.

Paris was asleep in bed when a group of men fired bullets into her home during the early hours of April 5.

She ran from her bedroom and was struck in the back by three of the dozens of bullets aimed at her home, police say, losing her life in an escalating cycle of gang retaliation.

In 911 calls, a woman's wails pierce through the morning chaos. "We were in the bed," an unidentified woman tells the operator. "Why would they shoot?"

Paris lived with her aunt because the girl's mother, Robin Whitehead, died in a fall two years ago.

The shocking death has hung over the city in recent days. Children left stuffed animals outside Paris' home. Neighbors marched to demand justice. Elected officials searched for answers.

Gov. Charlie Crist arrived at John Hopkins Middle School to talk about the economic stimulus package and how it might affect schools Monday.

City Council member Wengay Newton approached the governor and asked him what can be done about street violence.

"We can make sure we have good prevention programs," Crist said. "We can make sure we enforce the laws on the books aggressively."

Newton continued to press: "What about assault weapons?"

Crist's response: "I think that's something we should discuss."

Answers elude St. Petersburg police in shooting of Paris Whitehead-Hamilton, 8 04/13/09 [Last modified: Monday, April 13, 2009 11:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally


    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Kushner to testify before two intelligence committees


    WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is set to make a second appearance on Capitol Hill — he will speak with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, one day after he is scheduled to speak with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators behind closed doors.

    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  4. Exhumation of Dalí's remains finds his mustache still intact


    FIGUERES, Spain — Forensic experts in Spain have removed hair, nails and two long bones from Salvador Dalí's embalmed remains to aid a court-ordered paternity test that may enable a woman who says she is the surrealist artist's daughter to claim part of Dalí's vast estate.

    Salvador Dal? died in 1989 leaving vast estate.
  5. Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show


    WASHINGTON — Russia's ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, current and former U.S. …

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation after meetings with an ambassador were revealed.