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No suspects named yet in killing of Tarpon Springs man

TARPON SPRINGS — Separated six years, Jeanette Shaw still found a way to get along with her husband.

Shaw, 54, called him Monday to check on their 21-year-old son. Her husband, 48-year-old Luther T. Shaw, said something was bothering him, but he didn't say what.

Leave it alone, she advised.

That conversation came back to her Tuesday, after police told her that Luther Shaw had been killed in an early morning shooting.

"You know what? It hurts," she said, even after six years of separation. "I really feel bad for him."

Tarpon Springs police say they received a call at 6:39 a.m. Tuesday about a shooting outside 711 S Safford Ave. When officers arrived, they found a white 1999 Ford Expedition in the street with the driver's door open.

Luther Shaw had been shot and was lying on the ground, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Tarpon Springs police had not named any suspects or announced any arrests Tuesday evening.

A friend, Tildon Collins, also recalled talking to an upset Shaw the night before but said he didn't know what could have led to the shooting.

Shaw previously worked in construction but was unemployed, Collins said. Shaw often played cards and liked to fish.

State records show Shaw has been arrested several times since 1980. Most recently, he was arrested by Tarpon Springs police three times between 2008 and 2010 on domestic battery charges and for violating a domestic injunction.

This is the city's second homicide investigation this year, said Tarpon Springs police Capt. Barb Templeton. Tarpon Springs usually records about two homicides annually, she said, though in 2011 the city saw seven.

For several hours after the shooting, Shaw's body remained on the street, uncovered, as crime scene technicians worked. Crowds gathered.

A friend of Luther Shaw's cried outside the police tape, pressing a hand to her face. She declined to comment to a reporter, then walked behind a house. Her body buckled and she wailed loudly.

A few women clustered at the scene for prayer.

"Lord," one said, "it's done."

At one point, people in the crowd rushed to watch when officers chased a man down the street.

The man and a little girl had emerged from a house at 609 S Safford Ave., near the intersection with Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Templeton said.

Later, he got out of the back of a police car, handcuffed, and sat on a stretcher. He was taken away by an ambulance, complaining of a medical condition, Templeton said.

Templeton did not identify the man, who she said is a person of interest in the case.

The investigation continues.

Times researcher Natalie Watson and staff writer Laura C. Morel contributed to this story. Stephanie Wang can be reached at swang@tampabay.com or (727) 445-4155.

No suspects named yet in killing of Tarpon Springs man 07/31/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 8:08pm]
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