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Deputies investigate shooting at Hillsborough office

TAMPA — A mental health counselor shot and wounded a man at her office near Brandon on Monday afternoon, authorities said.

Authorities did not arrest the counselor, Sarah Hughey, 49.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Debbie Carter said investigators were still trying to determine what relation the 30-year-old victim, Arthur Cornelius Howard of Clearwater, had to Hughey's office.

The Sheriff's Office said that Hughey and Howard had known each other for several months.

Carter said the investigation continues, and detectives will be consulting the Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office.

"We're still trying to determine what happened," she said.

Whether Hughey may have acted in self-defense is still unknown, Carter said. She would not say whether Hughey was cooperating with investigators.

Hughey remained at her office after the shooting until deputies arrived. Howard was taken to Tampa General Hospital with injuries that weren't life-threatening.

Hughey's office is Hughey Behavioral Inc., at 9350 Bay Plaza Blvd., which is in an office complex near the intersection of U.S. 301 and State Road 60, just west of Brandon.

The company's website says Hughey has been providing mental health and addiction treatment for 15 years.

She did not return a message left at her home.

Times staff writer Alexandra Zayas and news researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at (813) 226-3433 or

Deputies investigate shooting at Hillsborough office 10/17/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 6:21pm]
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