Make us your home page

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

  1. Forecast: Drier pattern ending in Tampa Bay as front brings building rain chances throughout weekend


    The drier, hot weather pattern across Tampa Bay will remain in place Friday before rain chances start to ramp up yet again through the weekend and into next week.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]
  2. Police investigating death of child in Largo


    LARGO — Police will release details this morning on the death of a child Thursday night at a mobile home park.

  3. Goodbye, iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle: Apple kills products as music moves to phones


    SAN FRANCISCO — The iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle have played their final notes for Apple.

    An iPod, iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle are displayed at an Apple store in New York in 2015. The company discontinued sales of the iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle on Thursday, July 27, 2017, in a move reflecting the waning popularity of the devices in an era when most people store or stream their tunes on smartphones. [Associated Press]
  4. Review: Sherman Alexie's 'You Don't Have to Say You Love Me' a moving mother-son memoir


    Grief has no timetable and abides by no map or pattern. Nor, despite the efforts of the most skilled storytellers, does it surrender to our narratives about it.

    LOVEIS WISE   |   Special to the Times
  5. Founder of Tampa home sharing platform questions Airbnb, NAACP partnership


    TAMPA — A Tampa rival to Airbnb, which was launched because of discrimination complaints on the dominant home sharing platform, has concerns about the new partnership between Airbnb and NAACP announced this week.

    Rohan Gilkes poses for a portrait at his home and business headquarters in Tampa. 

Innclusive, a Tampa-based start-up, is a home-sharing platform that focuses on providing a positive traveling experience for minorities. [CHARLIE KAIJO | Times]