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Arrest No. 2 in Tampa's Veterans Day killings

TAMPA — Hillsborough detectives arrested a man they say shot and killed 25-year-old Anthony Prather on a violent Veterans Day that ended with three Tampa murders.

Detectives said Christopher Grim's fingerprints were on the door of Prather's car. Grim's cell phone was used to call Prather immediately before the shooting. And as he lay dying, Prather told bystanders, "Chris shot me," according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Authorities issued a warrant for Grim's arrest Nov. 13 and the 19-year-old walked into Sheriff's Office on Friday, said Debbie Carter, a sheriff's spokeswoman.

"He reported with his lawyer to turn himself in," Carter said.

It was the second arrest in the trio of Nov. 11 deaths.

The Sheriff's Office gave this account of Prather's slaying:

He arrived at the Citgo Gas Station at 2245 E Fletcher Ave. Sometime after 8 p.m., Grim called Prather's cell phone, then a minute later someone got into Prather's Cadillac Northstar, parked at Pump 2. Three minutes later, Prather emerged from the vehicle with a bullet wound in his neck, trying to signal for help.

Witnesses said Prather told them, "Chris shot me," before indicating his killer was the last number in his cell phone's call log and asking someone to call his mother.

He died en route to the hospital, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Grim has been charged with second-degree murder with a firearm. He has four prior arrests in South Carolina, state records show. He was convicted of simple assault and made to pay a fine in 2008 and in April he was convicted of burglary and given three years of probation.

Grim was held without bail at the Hillsborough County Jail.

Tampa police already arrested a young man they say shot and killed a Middleton High senior on Veterans Day. Two eyewitnesses identified Alexandro Garibaldi, 17, as the person who shot and killed the student, Gregory Allen Jr., after an argument over a stolen bicycle in DeSoto Park, police said.

Garibaldi was arrested Nov. 25 and charged with felony murder.

There's been no arrest in the death of Marc Strode, 20, who was gunned down while running away from robbers.

Police reported that Strode was outside 4309 W Arch St. with friends who were playing cards and video games when two armed men pulled up in a car and demanded that the group undress.

The young men scattered and several shots were fired in Strode's direction, causing him to collapse before reaching the street corner.

If you have any information about the case, please call Tampa police at (813) 231-6130 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 873-8477.

Robbyn Mitchell can be reached at rmitchell@sptimes.com or (813)226-3373.

Arrest No. 2 in Tampa's Veterans Day killings 12/01/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 1, 2009 11:44pm]
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