Saturday, June 23, 2018
Public safety

Police: Pinellas Park man fatally shoots girlfriend, arrested after standoff

PINELLAS PARK — A domestic dispute turned deadly Tuesday night when police say a man fatally shot his girlfriend and threatened to shoot his sister, then engaged in a standoff with police.

Thomas Lee Owens II was arrested Tuesday evening. He faces charges of murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and being felon in possession of a firearm.

Owens, 52, and his live-in girlfriend, Nellie Collins, were arguing in the living room of their home on 6998 59th St. Before the dispute, Owens had taken out his handgun, police said. His sister, Tracy Starks, 49, was also in the living room, trying to calm him down.

The argument escalated and Owens shot Collins, police said. Then he turned the gun on his sister, who fled and called authorities from the safety of a neighbor's house.

When police arrived, Owens was waiting on the screen porch, gun in hand. Initially, he refused to drop it. But after discussion with officers, he eventually agreed to drop the gun and be taken into custody. Then police searched the house and found Collins, 59, dead in the living room.

Authorities took Owens to Pinellas County Jail, where he was held without bail.

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