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One person dead in Brooksville shooting

BROOKSVILLE — Raindrops pelted her rooftop as Shelby Fowler sat in her bedroom and typed on her computer around noon Thursday.

She heard arguing just outside her back window. Then, seconds later, the sound of two gunshots pierced the thunder and the wind.

"There was a little bit of yelling before the shots, but it wasn't a lot," said Fowler, 19. "It just happened out of nowhere."

Within minutes, Hernando County sheriff's deputies dressed in yellow rain gear swarmed the front lawn of a home at 1583 Howell Ave., which is near Fowler's house on Lehouier Drive.

Authorities put a white tarp over the body of the victim, shot dead about noon Thursday in a neighborhood north of downtown Brooksville.

After Fowler heard the shots, she looked outside and saw a black man she described as between 20 and 30 years old and about 5 feet 7 to 5 feet 10. She said he wore a black T-shirt, navy blue shorts and dark shoes.

Deputies are searching for three black male suspects in the fatal shooting; they were seen leaving the area in a newer model gold-colored car at 12:12 p.m., according to the Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Al Nienhuis indicated that the killer targeted the victim, who had not been identified.

"We don't think this was a random act,'' he said.

Hernando High School, Brooksville Elementary School and the STAR Education Center were put on lockdown for about 10 minutes after the shooting, said Barry Crowley, the school district's safety and security director.

About two hours after the shooting, deputies — some with assault rifles and shotguns drawn — surrounded a house at 21375 Anderson Road, blocks from where the body was found. A gold Chevrolet Malibu was in the driveway.

Deputies later led away two women and a man, none of whom were in handcuffs.

Several Lehouier Drive residents who heard the shots said the rounds sounded as if they had come from a pistol.

One woman, who has lived in the neighborhood for 16 years and asked not to be identified, said she watched a man who she thought was the victim run through her back yard about a minute before the killing.

She saw him from behind and said he wore a black jacket with red and yellow markings. The woman could not identify his race.

Glenda Pulaski, who lives with her husband on Lehouier Drive, said she was watching television with her children about noon when she heard the shots. She said her family just moved into the house about three weeks ago.

Her husband, Steven Pulaski, said he heard screaming about 3 a.m., but it was unclear whether that was connected to the shooting.

"This," she said, "is a shock to us."

Times staff writer Tony Marrero contributed to this report. John Woodrow Cox can be reached at (352) 848-1432 or jcox@sptimes.com.

One person dead in Brooksville shooting 03/31/11 [Last modified: Thursday, March 31, 2011 8:14pm]
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