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Gunshot on Clearwater street leads to crash, driver's death

Arthur Bennett, the driver of this car, died after being shot and crashing the car into trees about 7:45 a.m. Monday, Clearwater police spokeswoman Elizabeth Daly-Watts said.

DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times

Arthur Bennett, the driver of this car, died after being shot and crashing the car into trees about 7:45 a.m. Monday, Clearwater police spokeswoman Elizabeth Daly-Watts said.

CLEARWATER — Police spent Monday investigating a shooting-turned-car-crash that killed a 62-year-old man that morning.

Arthur Bennett, whose last known address was an apartment at 1408 Alpine Road, got into an altercation with another person before the shooting, reported Clearwater police.

At 7:45 a.m. Bennett was shot while driving south and west on Douglas Avenue, police said. The maroon Mitsubishi Gallant Bennett was driving crossed the median and crashed into the trees near where the road crosses Stevenson Creek.

Bennett was taken to Morton Plant Hospital, where he died.

Police spokeswoman Elizabeth Daly-Watts said it was unknown if the shooter was inside or outside Bennett's car. Some witnesses told police they saw a gray car and a man walking in the area at the time of the shooting.

A helicopter and police dogs helped search for the shooter, but no one was found.

Gene Roebuck, 52, who lives nearby on Sylvan Drive, was interviewed by police shortly after the shooting.

Roebuck said police told him a dog led them from the crime scene into his yard. But Roebuck said he didn't know anything about the shooting.

Police have made no arrests connected to the case. The cause of death has not been released.

Peggie Reeves, 76, a former neighbor of Bennett's, said Bennett was retired and had an adult daughter. She said he hadn't lived at the Alpine Road address for a few years.

Lois "Anne" Hendricks, a 69-year-old woman who lives near the crime scene, said the shooting was more proof of a problem in the neighborhood.

"It's to the point where I don't feel safe sitting in my own yard," Hendricks said.

Times staff writer Casey Cora and photographer Douglas R. Clifford contributed to this report. Jonathan Abel can be reached at jabel@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4157.

Gunshot on Clearwater street leads to crash, driver's death 05/19/08 [Last modified: Monday, May 19, 2008 8:34pm]
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