Sunday, February 18, 2018
Public safety

Road rage blamed in fatal shooting on Palm Harbor street

PALM HARBOR — A 30-year-old man was shot to death in front of his twin brother in a road rage incident early Tuesday after three drivers stopped their cars and confronted one another, authorities said.

Investigators questioned the accused gunman at length Tuesday but did not press criminal charges against him. He told deputies that he acted in self-defense.

Deputies say Seth Browning, a 23-year-old security guard, shot Brandon Patrick Baker about 2:15 a.m. on Seagull Drive, an access road leading to large apartment complexes on the west side of East Lake Road just north of Tampa Road.

Baker, who died at the scene of the shooting, lived with his twin brother and his girlfriend in one of those complexes, Sabal Palms at Boot Ranch.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office gave the following account:

Shortly after 2 a.m., three vehicles were headed south on East Lake Road — one driven by Brandon Baker, the second by Seth Browning, and the third by Brandon's twin, Christopher Baker.

Browning told deputies that he had become concerned about Brandon Baker's driving. In an attempt to get his tag number, Browning followed him onto the frontage road. The third car followed the other two.

The vehicles came to a stop, and Brandon Baker got out of his Chevy pickup and aggressively approached Browning's car, deputies said. Browning responded by using pepper spray on Baker and his brother, who was also approaching Browning's car.

Deputies say Brandon Baker reached into Browning's vehicle and punched him, and he in turn pulled out his gun and shot Brandon Baker.

Browning called 911 and stayed at the scene until sheriff's deputies arrived. He wasn't on duty at the time, but he is authorized to carry a gun through his employer, the Sheriff's Office said.

Christopher Baker was not injured. A passenger in his car — Amy Marcellus, Brandon Baker's girlfriend — also was not injured. She remained inside the car during the incident, deputies said.

The Sheriff's Office investigation is ongoing.

Little information about Baker was available Tuesday. He attended East Lake High School. He has no Florida arrest record. At one time he owned B & B Lawn Service & Trimming, according to Florida corporate records.

The shooting took place in front of the Egret's Landing apartment complex, on an access road that straddles two large retention ponds.

Justin Clarida, who lives nearby, said he heard screaming during the incident. "I heard someone yell, 'Oh, my God! Brandon! Somebody call 911!' " Clarida said.

Mike Brassfield can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4151.

Comments
‘We had this monster living under our roof and we didn’t know.’

‘We had this monster living under our roof and we didn’t know.’

Nikolas Cruz was immature, quirky and depressed when James and Kimberly Snead took him into their Parkland home. But he was pleasant and seemed to be growing happier, they said.How the 19-year-old turned into a man now arrested and charged with 17 co...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Broward program will give small-time offenders a big break

Broward program will give small-time offenders a big break

FORT LAUDERDALE — Pot smokers aren’t the only law breakers able to get a second chance in South Florida. Underage adults buying alcohol, those stealing property worth less than $300 and people nabbed for trespassing, loitering or disorderly conduct a...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Parkland students to march on Florida Capitol to demand changes to gun laws

Parkland students to march on Florida Capitol to demand changes to gun laws

TALLAHASSEEAhundred students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland will travel to Tallahassee for a march on the state Capitol on Wednesday in the first organized protest of their #NeverAgain movement.Their demand: that Florida legisl...
Updated: 5 hours ago
As victims are mourned in Florida, a search for solace, and action

As victims are mourned in Florida, a search for solace, and action

PARKLAND — On the Sunday after Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School lost 17 of its own, a minister in Parkland implored his flock not to let the horrific shootings lead them away from their faith."Our world is broken, but Jesus is not," the Rev. Eddi...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Pinellas Park man tries to stop people breaking into his car, is shot in arm

PINELLAS PARK — A man saw people trying to break into his vehicle and chased them away, before one of the attempted burglars shot him in the arm, police said.Alexander Weaver, 28, was at his home on the 6200 block of 106th Avenue N early Sunday morni...
Published: 02/18/18

Deputies: Woman charged with DUI manslaughter hit St. Pete Beach pedestrian

ST. PETE BEACH — Deputies say a driver killed a man walking on a sidewalk and fled the scene before causing a second crash Saturday night.Carolyn Yovan, 51 of St. Pete Beach, now faces felony charges of driving under the influence manslaughter and le...
Published: 02/18/18
Pinellas Sheriff’s Office accuses 14-year-old of copycat Snapchat school threat

Pinellas Sheriff’s Office accuses 14-year-old of copycat Snapchat school threat

PINELLAS PARK — The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office late Saturday said detectives arrested a 14-year-old boy and accused him of posting a threat to a school on his Snapchat account.Edward Charles Osgood, who attends Lealman Innovation Academy, was a...
Published: 02/17/18
Updated: 02/18/18

Man found dead in flaming mobile home

TAMPA — Firefighters found a man dead inside a burned-down mobile home Saturday.Tampa Fire Rescue got a call just after 4:30 p.m. that a single-wide mobile home at the 100 block of East Linebaugh Avenue was in flames.The man’s identity was not releas...
Published: 02/17/18
‘I’m going to watch you bleed’: Nikolas Cruz threatened ex’s new boyfriend, report says

‘I’m going to watch you bleed’: Nikolas Cruz threatened ex’s new boyfriend, report says

Warning: This story quotes graphic material.Before he killed 17 people at a South Florida high school, Nikolas Cruz repeatedly threatened an ex-classmate who had started dating his former girlfriend, according to a report in Buzzfeed News."I’m going ...
Published: 02/17/18

Police find dead man in Tampa apartment

TAMPA — Police found a dead man inside an apartment in the 5200 block of Sonora Court Friday after 3 p.m.Who the man is or how long he’s been dead is not yet clear, police said. The victim appears to have been killed in some sort of "homicidal violen...
Published: 02/17/18