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Pasco man arrested in Pinellas, jailed in his sister's shooting

After nearly two months on the run, a 21-year-old man accused of shooting his sister in the leg is behind bars.

Elijah Booze was transferred to the Land O'Lakes jail last week after Pinellas authorities picked him up May 26. Officials there did not say how they found him.

The shooting happened about 9 a.m. April 11 in a New Port Richey apartment at 6435 Illinois Ave. Booze later caught a ride to Clearwater with someone who did not know Booze was a suspect in a shooting, New Port Richey police said. The driver told officers that Booze seemed to be in a rush to leave, and that he had a small amount of blood on his shorts that he could not explain.

In the meantime, in the hours after the shooting, SWAT officers surrounded the New Port Richey apartment before determining Booze was no longer there.

The victim's three young children, ages 3 years, 18 months and 7 months, were retrieved from the home unharmed. Authorities did not release the victim's name, but a man at the apartments identified her as Britany Small, 21.

Reports released this week provide new details about the shooting:

Booze's sister was arguing with her boyfriend the morning of April 11 when Booze pulled out a gun and shot her, authorities said.

Afterward, she was lying on the floor and Booze pointed the gun at her head and said he was going to kill her, the New Port Richey police report said. She feared for her life.

Another witness said he ran to the woman and looked Booze in the eyes as Booze held the gun, authorities said.

That's when Booze fled, police said.

Booze has previous arrests for possession of cocaine, marijuana and controlled substances without a prescription, as well as charges of violating his probation. In March, a judge issued a warrant for his arrest on a charge of lewd and lascivious battery.

Booze was arrested May 26 by Pinellas County deputies, who handed him over to warrants detectives. The New Port Richey Police Department then charged Booze with aggravated battery and aggravated assault, said Kevin Doll with the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

Booze is being held in Land O'Lakes jail without bail.

Times staff writer Molly Moorhead contributed to this report.

Pasco man arrested in Pinellas, jailed in his sister's shooting 06/07/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 7, 2011 8:31pm]
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