Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Gunman injures worker in attack on warehouse, Plant City police say

PLANT CITY — Like she has for the last six years, Nija Thomas was waiting Wednesday for her husband to come out of the Save-A-Lot warehouse where he works so they could have lunch.

A gunman police said once worked for a warehouse contractor changed their routine.

Around 12:30 p.m., the man drove his red pickup truck to an office at 4003 Amberjack Blvd., got out and started firing, Plant City police said.

Thomas saw it unfold.

"My heart stopped," she said. "You hear about things like that on TV but never expect to see them in person."

Police said Andrew Lee Brown, 53, of Lakeland was the gunman Thomas saw shooting at the office.

He kept shooting as he entered the building and shot Aaron Huey, 25, in the foot, police said.

Thomas called 911 and raced to the warehouse part of the building to warn her husband and others a gunman was coming.

Brown barricaded himself in the office and set fires before moving to the warehouse where he was arrested, police said.

A dozen employees who had been trapped in the building with the gunman made it out safely.

Huey was taken to South Florida Baptist Hospital. He works for a contractor with Save-A-Lot, police said.

Brown is a former worker for a transportation contractor working with Save-A-Lot, police said.

Brown was charged with attempted first-degree murder, eight counts of aggravated assault, three counts of first-degree arson, shooting into an occupied building, aggravated battery and using a firearm in the commission of a violent felony. He was held without bail at the Hillsborough County Jail.

Investigators questioned him to determine a motive but said Wednesday night it was unknown.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement records do not show a criminal past in the state. Police said there was no signs of a previous relationship between Brown and Huey.

The episode cut short lunch plans for Thomas, 33, a nurse from Lakeland. Her husband took her home before Brown was arrested. She's not sure if she'll be able to go there again.

"I don't want him to go back to work there. But I know he has to," she said.

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report.

Gunman injures worker in attack on warehouse, Plant City police say 05/25/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 11:40pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Gov. Rick Scott could soon be the all-time king of line-item veto

    Blogs

    2016: $256,144,027

    2015: $461,387,164

    2014: $68,850,121

    2013: $367,950,394

    2012: $142,752,177

    2011: $615,347,550

    Only once has Scott used the line-item veto sparingly. That was in 2014, the year he ran for re-election, when he removed a paltry $69 million from the budget.

    Gov. Rick Scott waves a veto pen at The Villages in 2011.
  2. Rays morning after: An up-and down day for Jose De Leon

    Blogs

    Rays RHP Jose De Leon had a busy Monday - getting called up to join the Rays for the first time and making his way from Pawtucket, R.I., to Boston and the flying to Texas, working 2 2/3 eventful innings to get the W in the 10-8 victory over the Rangers, and then getting optioned back to Triple-A.

    Jose De Leon follows through in the sixth inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, on May 29, 2017.
  3. Resignation of communications director Dubke could signal more changes within White House staff

    National

    WASHINGTON — Mike Dubke has resigned as White House communications director, a senior administration official confirmed Tuesday, in the first of what could be a series of changes to President Trump's senior staff amid the growing Russia scandal.

    President Donald Trump speaks at the Memorial Amphitheater in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Monday, May 29, 2017, during a Memorial Day ceremony. [Associated Press]
  4. Trump pays somber tribute to fallen troops on Memorial Day

    National

    ARLINGTON, Va. — President Donald Trump expressed the nation's "boundless" gratitude for the ultimate sacrifice paid by Americans defending the United States, dedicating his first Memorial Day address as commander in chief to a top Cabinet secretary and two other families who lost loved ones.

    Brittany Jacobs, left, watches as her 6-year-old son Christian Jacobs meets President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery, Monday, May 29, 2017, in Arlington, Va. Jacobs father, Marine Sgt. Christopher Jacobs, was killed in 2011. [Associated Press]
  5. Florida education news: Budgets, discipline, charter schools and more

    Blogs

    BUDGETING: Florida school district officials keep a close eye on their spending plans as they await word on the Legislature's budget. Gov. Rick Scott