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Deputies arrest man accused of shooting at Largo officer

LARGO — A man who authorities say shot at a Largo police officer late Thursday and then fled has been arrested and charged with attempted murder of a law enforcement officer.

Shortly after 10:15 Friday morning, Pinellas County sheriff's deputies cornered Terry Lamar James, 19, in the back yard of a home near the intersection of 82nd Avenue N and 47th Street in Pinellas Park.

According to Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, James stuck his hand into his pants and said, "Shoot me! Shoot me!"

Deputies instead disabled James with a Taser and arrested him, Gualtieri said. In addition to the attempted murder charge, James was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon and violation of probation. Two of James' associates also were arrested.

James, who has previously been arrested in Pinellas County on drug charges and a charge of armed home-invasion robbery, was wanted in connection with two armed home invasions in Largo. According to Largo and Pinellas County authorities, here's what happened Thursday night and Friday morning:

Largo police, along with Pinellas deputies, were looking for James at a home at 6301 144th St. N in unincorporated Pinellas County.

At about 11:15 p.m. Thursday, they tried to talk to James, but he fled from the back of the house, police said. As he ran away, he encountered Largo police Officer Ken Kimberlin. Both James and Kimberlin fired guns, police said, but the officer was not injured. Since James fled the scene, police didn't know whether he had been wounded.

Overnight, officers searched for James. Pinellas deputies set up surveillance in the parking lot of the Suburban Lodge, 6500 Ulmerton Road in Largo, where they believed a female friend of James' was staying.

"What we know from dealing with these people is they're going to go to where they feel safe and the people they feel safe with," Gualtieri said. "It pretty much happens every time."

Shortly after 10 a.m. Friday, a car with a man and a woman inside pulled up to the motel, and the man knocked on the door where the female friend lived. The man then returned to the car, and the car left, with deputies following it in unmarked vehicles.

According to Gualtieri, James was lying down in the back seat of the car. When the car's occupants realized they were being followed, they stopped in the parking lot of Sacred Heart Catholic Church on 46th Way N in Pinellas Park, and all three ran off in different directions.

James was caught in the back yard of the nearby home.

Peter Jamison can be reached at (727) 445-4157 or pjamison@tampabay.com.

Deputies arrest man accused of shooting at Largo officer 03/22/13 [Last modified: Friday, March 22, 2013 9:01pm]
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