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Man questioned over shooting

TAMPA — A man wanted for questioning about the shooting of four teenagers in Progress Village turned himself in to sheriff's investigators late Thursday afternoon.

Antonio J. Steadman, 25, was booked into the Orient Road Jail shortly after 6 p.m. on probation violations unrelated to the shooting.

Elijah Anderson Jr., 13, Quadarrius Brown, 16, Michael Simpson, 16, and Preston Young, 16, were shot Wednesday afternoon after what a witness said was a petty argument.

A witness also said Steadman was inside a car that may have been used in the shooting, according to sheriff's spokesman Larry McKinnon.

Except for Anderson, who was treated and released, the victims were in stable condition Wednesday night. But on Thursday, a Tampa General Hospital spokeswoman said that no further information about them could be released.

Witnesses said the argument broke out at about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. About an hour later, two cars pulled up in the 8300 block of Allamanda Avenue, and someone opened fire on the teenagers, all of whom were out of school after an early-release day.

The victims live within about two blocks of each other in the Progress Village area, where Steadman also lives.

Steadman had been serving probation for drug possession, which he had repeatedly violated.

Two groups of teenagers were involved in the dispute, but McKinnon said there's no indication the shootings are gang-related. It was unclear Thursday whether all of the shooting victims were involved in the original dispute.

"Whether one of those individuals happened to be walking over there and be in the wrong place at the wrong time, I don't know," he said.

Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies lined up outside schools in the Progress Village area Thursday as rumors swirled among students about what had happened to their classmates.

The shooting victims all attended different schools, but a district spokeswoman couldn't name the specific schools Thursday.

Spoto High School principal Clyde Trathowen confirmed that one of the teens attended his school. Trathowen said he didn't think school attendance dropped and that the kids probably discussed the shooting at lunch.

"They want to glorify it — that's the sad thing," he said. "They don't understand how bad it can be and how lucky some of these kids were."

Susan Wright was picking up her daughter Allison, a junior at Spoto, on Thursday afternoon.

She said she warned her to be careful before leaving the house.

"I just told her, 'Don't get caught up in the drama and just realize the seriousness of the whole situation,' " she said. "If it was my choice, she would have stayed home from school."

Times researcher John Martin and staff writer Robbyn Mitchell contributed to this report. Hilary Lehman can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 661-2441.

Man questioned over shooting 04/02/10 [Last modified: Friday, April 2, 2010 12:05am]
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