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Hillsborough deputies issue murder warrant based on clue provided by victim

TAMPA — Shortly before he died, the victim of a shooting Wednesday told deputies who shot him and how to get in contact with him.

"Chris shot me," Anthony Prather told a Hillsborough sheriff's deputy and a witness. "He's the last one who called my cell phone," he said.

Sheriff's detectives used that key clue to issue a warrant Friday for Christopher Grim, 19, of 17804 Canary Point Lane.

Grim is charged with second-degree murder with a firearm in the death of Prather, 25, of 5035 Southampton Circle, Tampa.

Prather pulled up to the pump in a Cadillac Northstar at Citgo on 2245 E Fletcher Avenue Wednesday just after 9 p.m., and a man got into the passenger side.

Minutes later, Prather stumbled out of the driver's side waving one arm wildly, trying to get someone to notice the blood streaming from the gunshot wound to his neck.

Deputies say the bullet lacerated his trachea and ultimately killed him.

The Sheriff's Office said it found Grim's fingerprint on the outside of the Cadillac's passenger-side door. And cell phone records showed that Grim's telephone was used to called Prather one minute before the man who shot him got into his car.

The encounter also was captured on surveillance video, deputies said. And as Prather was being loaded in the ambulance, he repeated a second time to a deputy that "Chris" shot him.

Grim is described as a white male, 5 feet 1, with medium complexion, brown eyes and black hair. He is currently on probation for a 2007 burglary charge.

Prather's death was just one of four shootings on Veterans Day. Three of the victims, including Prather, died.

A Middleton High School student, 17-year-old Gregory Allen Jr., was shot and killed in a Palmetto Beach neighborhood after a dispute about a bike. Marc Strode was shot and killed as he and his friends fled from armed robbers who approached them at an outdoor card game on W. Arch Street. And Alexandro Lopez Jimenez was shot in the elbow, buttock and side as he and two friends ran from an armed robber behind the Publix at Waters and Hanley.

If you have any information about any of the shootings or Grim's whereabouts, please call the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, (813) 247-8200 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-8477.

Hillsborough deputies issue murder warrant based on clue provided by victim 11/13/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 6:37am]
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