Saturday, June 23, 2018
Public safety

Police look for suspect in Sunbay Motel shooting in Tarpon Springs

TARPON SPRINGS — Police are looking for a man they say shot and killed his 27-year-old neighbor at the Sunbay Motel early Saturday morning.

Fredrick Alvin Bentley, 39, ran from the scene after an argument led him to shoot Tarenzo Ladarius Smith, officers said.

Tarpon Springs police arrived at the scene around 4:30 a.m. They found Smith's body on the south side of the parking lot on 57 W Tarpon Ave. First responders pronounced him dead at the scene.

Police described the two men as acquaintances who were living at the motel and had been talking in the early morning. Eventually, the conversation turned into an argument, police said.

That's when Bentley went to retrieve a gun, according to investigators. They say he shot Smith at a close range before running away.

Police used a dog to try to sniff out Bentley, but were unsuccessful. By Saturday at noon, police were still looking to arrest him on charges of murder.

He was last seen wearing long white shorts, a white T-shirt, black and white shoes and a white baseball hat. He is black, about 6 feet tall with a thin build and has long, braided hair or dreadlocks that fall to his mid- to low back. He also has gold teeth, a beard and tattoos on his forearms and right side of his neck.

He was previously convicted for resisting arrest with violence and armed robbery in 2001, according to police. He was released from prison in 2003.

Police said they are unsure if he still has a gun.

If anyone has information about Bentley or his whereabouts, they can call Tarpon Springs detectives at (727) 938-2849.

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