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Rumors swirl after Wesley Chapel graduation party ends in shooting

WESLEY CHAPEL — The rumors after the party spread the same way the invitations did. Kids sent text messages, posted items on MySpace and talked over the lunch tables.

The party got out of hand. And if you ask Latrice Marbra, whose daughter's graduation party turned into a crime scene early Sunday, so have some of the rumors.

"All these people ,with their different comments, they weren't there. They don't know what really happened," said Marbra, 38.

Here's what is known, according to the Pasco Sheriff's Office and the Pasco County School Board:

Three local teenagers were shot early Sunday at Marbra's home.

Jnasia Clower, 14, a student at Weightman Middle School, took a bullet in the knee and was taken to a local hospital. Robert White, 17, who attends Zephyrhills High School, was shot in the hand and received treatment at the scene.

Deputies did not have updates on their condition Monday.

Marquis Dixon, 18, a Pasco High School football star, was shot in the chest and, according to school staff, is expected to recover.

None of the students' families could be reached Monday.

Dixon was named to the Times' All-North Suncoast football team after making 39 tackles and an interception for the Pirates last fall.

Deputies have not released further information about the shooting or suspect.

The party was for Eyshia Kelly, 18, who graduates from Zephyrhills High School at the end of the month.

Marbra, her mother, didn't know how many people to expect. The party grew. And grew.

At one point, she said, there were about 100 teenagers in the yard and on the porch of her Oakwood Drive home.

One of the rumors at Pasco High on Monday was that the kids were drinking and doing dugs, which Marbra said is not true. There was a cooler of Gatorade and Sprite on the porch, she said, and that was it.

The Sheriff's Office did not have information about whether alcohol was consumed at the party.

Deputies came by earlier in the evening because the music was too loud.

Other than that, everyone was having a good time.

Marbra said she stepped out about 12:30 Sunday morning to visit a friend for an hour or so. She left an adult cousin in charge.

Soon after Marbra left, a boy took off some of his clothes and started dancing around the crowd, Kelly said.

That's when Kelly asked everyone to leave her mother's home. The party was getting out of hand.

As people began to trickle out, she said, two boys she didn't know returned to the porch with guns.

"I thought they were going to shoot everybody," Kelly said.

There was a blur of gunshots, deputies and ambulances. Kelly was sent to a local hospital for treatment for a panic attack.

She stayed home from school Monday. Her mother said the family has received several threatening phone calls since the shooting.

The party was supposed to welcome Kelly to the real world, not thrust it upon her.

"Now she gets to see what adults have to deal with," Marbra said. "This is a real life thing here."

Times staff writer Joel Anderson contributed to this report. Helen Anne Travis can be reached at htravis@sptimes.com or (813) 435-7312.

Fast Facts

Have information?

Anyone with information on the shooting may call the Sheriff's Office tips line toll-free at 1-800-706-2488.

Rumors swirl after Wesley Chapel graduation party ends in shooting 05/04/09 [Last modified: Monday, May 4, 2009 10:21pm]
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