Monday, February 19, 2018
Public safety

Former Tampa Bay Storm player questioned in deadly shooting

TAMPA — A fight that culminated in a deadly shooting Tuesday morning outside a North Tampa Whole Foods Market could be a case of self-defense, authorities said.

The altercation in a parking lot behind the store involved Deshaun Gregory, 31, and David Saunders, 37, a former arena football player who investigators say is the personal trainer of Gregory's girlfriend.

Gregory was shot in the head and killed. Saunders was questioned and then released while the investigation continued.

Saunders, of Tampa, describes himself on a LinkedIn profile as a self-employed personal trainer and a coach with the Tampa Bay Youth Football League. He has played for the New Jersey Red Dogs, New Jersey Gladiators, Grand Rapids Rampage, Columbus Destroyers and Tampa Bay Storm arena football teams.

The Sheriff's Office released the following account:

Just before 10:30 a.m., the Sheriff's Office got a 911 call about a fight between two men behind the store at 15524 N Dale Mabry Highway.

When deputies arrived, they found a dead man in the parking lot next to a white sport utility vehicle owned by Saunders.

The man, later identified as Gregory, of Tampa, was angry with Saunders, the Sheriff's Office said, and had driven to the location with his girlfriend Tuesday morning to confront him.

The men fought and Gregory pulled an 8-inch kitchen knife on Saunders. Saunders shot him in the head, investigators said.

Homicide detectives were still investigating, and the Hills-borough State Attorney's Office will make a final determination on whether Saunders will face charges or whether the shooting was justified.

The identity of the victim's girlfriend was not being released, the Sheriff's Office said, because she is considered a witness.

Authorities said they believe the location of the shooting was randomly chosen, and that the market did not play a role in it.

Staff writers Aimee Alexander and Dan Sullivan and news researcher John Martin contributed to this report.

Comments
Man sought in sexual assault of woman, 71, in New Port Richey

Man sought in sexual assault of woman, 71, in New Port Richey

NEW PORT RICHEY — Deputies are searching for a man who they said broke into a home and raped a 71-year-old woman on Monday.The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said the woman was checking on a home at 7437 Heather St. for the homeowner at about 8:15 a.m...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Police identify man found dead in Tampa apartment

TAMPA — Police on Monday released the identity of the man who was found dead inside an apartment last week.Officers said it was Abdirashid Ali, 50, who was discovered around 3 p.m. Friday at The Courtyard on the River Apartments, 5217 Sonora Court.De...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Sheriff’s undercover sting nabs 26 ‘brazen’ unlicensed contractors

Sheriff’s undercover sting nabs 26 ‘brazen’ unlicensed contractors

DUNEDIN –– Pinellas sheriff’s detectives spent their weekend luring in unlicensed electrical, plumbing and other home improvement contractors to a vacant home wired with cameras.It took only hours before a stream of people arrived to work on the outd...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Video: Parkland shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz in brief court hearing

Video: Parkland shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz in brief court hearing

PARKLAND — Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz has appeared in court for a procedural hearing. Cruz said nothing at Monday’s hearing in Broward County Circuit Court, the first he attended in person and not via teleconference from jail. He ke...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Teachers say Florida shooter’s problems started in middle school, and the system tried to help him

Teachers say Florida shooter’s problems started in middle school, and the system tried to help him

PARKLAND, Fla. — The real problems started at least as early as middle school and quickly intensified. There were the vocal outbursts, disturbing drawings of stick figures with guns, constant disciplinary issues. There were threatening statements wri...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Girl, 12, sister of murder victim, reported missing in Manatee County

Girl, 12, sister of murder victim, reported missing in Manatee County

Seven months ago, Jalyssa Shannon’s older sister Janessa went missing, sparking a frantic search that ended with the discovery of the 13-year-old’s body in a Hillsborough County nature preserve and, later, the arrest of the girls’ father in her murde...
Updated: 9 hours ago
This gun owner said the Parkland shooting was the last straw. So he turned his rifle over to deputies

This gun owner said the Parkland shooting was the last straw. So he turned his rifle over to deputies

The Parkland school shooting inspired a Florida gun owner to turn his beloved AR-57 over to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office."As I struggle to make heads or tails of another senseless mass shooting in the USA, I can no longer offer only my ‘though...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Candlelight vigils tonight in Tampa Bay, statewide for Parkland shooting victims

Candlelight vigils tonight in Tampa Bay, statewide for Parkland shooting victims

Several vigils are being held in the Tampa Bay area and throughout the state to honor the 17 victims of the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.The Florida PTA is organizing the statewide vigils, which will begin at 7 p.m. u...
Published: 02/19/18
Head-on collision in Tampa blocks EB lanes of Courtney Campbell Causeway

Head-on collision in Tampa blocks EB lanes of Courtney Campbell Causeway

A head-on collision Monday morning has shut down many of the eastbound lanes on the Courtney Campbell Causeway.Only one lane of traffic is able to squeeze through, according to 10News Traffic.Drivers are recommended to avoid the causeway and instead ...
Published: 02/19/18
‘We had this monster living under our roof and we didn’t know.’

‘We had this monster living under our roof and we didn’t know.’

Nikolas Cruz was immature, quirky and depressed when James and Kimberly Snead took him into their Parkland home. But he was pleasant and seemed to be growing happier, they said.How the 19-year-old turned into a man now arrested and charged with 17 co...
Published: 02/18/18
Updated: 02/19/18