Saturday, May 26, 2018
Public safety

Man found slain at St. Petersburg motel was Jordanian immigrant

ST. PETERSBURG — Like many people his age, 19-year-old Aziz Ahmad was trying to figure out his place in the world.

Ahmad, who recently emigrated from Jordan, also wasn't thrilled about his job at a small convenience store.

He dropped off an application at Publix about 10 days ago. On Wednesday, he left his aunt and uncle's house in west St. Petersburg to apply at Walmart and other shops.

He called that night and told his family not to wait up for him.

The next morning, an employee at the Candlelight Inn motel on 34th Street found Ahmad, whose full name is Abdelaziz Mohamad Baker Ahmad, dead inside Room 118. He had been stabbed to death.

His family, and police, are struggling to figure out why.

"We wait," said Reham Darwish, Ahmad's aunt. "We don't know anything. It's hard."

Hours after Ahmad's body was discovered Thursday, police arrested a 21-year-old New Port Richey man and charged him with first-degree murder. But authorities said Friday they still don't know what motivated David Charles Willey, identified by surveillance video and other motel guests, to kill Ahmad.

Willey would not consent to an interview with detectives.

Surveillance video from the motel shows the two men going into Ahmad's room, but Willey leaving alone.

Darwish said her nephew, whom she treated as a son, was an introvert. He helped out at Fat Boy's Market in the 2600 block of Fifth Avenue S.

Ahmad decided to seek a new job earlier this month after a group of teens jumped him outside the store as he tried to help someone who was hurt. According to police, who arrested three teenagers in the Aug. 7 attack, Ahmad's front teeth were knocked out.

"He didn't show his feelings," Darwish said. "If he was having trouble with someone, he kept it secret."

Ahmad moved to St. Petersburg in November with his wife, who was born in the United States. The young couple married overseas, Darwish said.

Ahmad had never been to the U.S. before. His mother had planned to visit Sept. 4 to see how he was doing.

"She lived for him," Darwish said, her eyes welling with tears. "We are missing him. He was nice, quiet, funny."

Comments
Police: Driver in fatal Bayshore faces new charge in child’s death

Police: Driver in fatal Bayshore faces new charge in child’s death

The 18-year-old who was arrested this week after police said he was racing when he fatally struck a young mother pushing her stroller across Bayshore Boulevard was back in jail on Friday night.Cameron Herrin, 18, was arrested on a second count of veh...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Five members of 69ers motorcycle gang indicted on federal charges

Five members of 69ers motorcycle gang indicted on federal charges

Last year three members of the 69ers Motorcycle Club gang were implicated in the execution of a rival gang leader in the middle of rush hour traffic in Pasco County.Now those three and two other 69ers members have been indicted on federal charges tha...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Raccoon bites bicyclist, now the Health Department is looking for the victim

TAMPA — A bicyclist in the Palm River area was bitten by a raccoon Friday morning, the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County said.Now the department is concerned the animal had rabies and is searching for the bicyclist."While it is impo...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Police: Baby not abandoned; mother surrendered infant

TAMPA — A newborn baby initially thought to be found on the ground near a trash can in north Tampa was not abandoned, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said Friday.The child’s mother gave birth to the boy Thursday, and she and someone else too...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Student says science teacher tackled Indiana school shooter

Student says science teacher tackled Indiana school shooter

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — A male student opened fire at a suburban Indianapolis middle school Friday morning, wounding another student and a teacher before being taken into custody, authorities said. Seventh-grader Ethan Stonebraker said the science teache...
Published: 05/25/18

Woman, dog die trying to cross U.S. 19 in Hudson

PORT RICHEY— An unidentified 45-year-old Colorado woman and her dog died early Friday morning when they walked into the path of two vehicles on U.S. 19, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.The woman was walking her dog around 5:40 a.m. across U.S...
Published: 05/25/18
A ‘coupon conundrum’ at a Largo Burger King landed him in jail

A ‘coupon conundrum’ at a Largo Burger King landed him in jail

LARGO— A flap over coupons led a Clearwater man to grab a Burger King employee and yank her over the counter, leading to his arrest, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.Miguel Latorre, 23, was trying to use several coupons to buy a Whop...
Published: 05/25/18
New signs indicate reduced Bayshore Boulevard speed limit after racing deaths

New signs indicate reduced Bayshore Boulevard speed limit after racing deaths

TAMPA — Two days after a mother and daughter were struck by a speeding car Bayshore Boulevard, killing both, city officials on Friday began implementing changes aimed at ensuring safety along the busy roadway.On Friday morning, workers began installi...
Published: 05/25/18
He is accused in 13 Gulfport vehicle burglaries. An ankle bracelet tipped police off.

He is accused in 13 Gulfport vehicle burglaries. An ankle bracelet tipped police off.

GULFPORT — An 18-year-old man, wearing an ankle bracelet, was arrested Thursday after he was accused of breaking into 13 cars in a one-block radius over the last week.Benjamin Langkamp Jr. faces 13 charges of vehicle burglary — each of which occurred...
Published: 05/25/18
Warrant issued for Tampa suspect in January slaying

Warrant issued for Tampa suspect in January slaying

TAMPA — Hillsborough County deputies have identified the suspect in the fatal shooting of a man in January.Deputies are searching for 23-year-old Javon Rakeem Turner, who is wanted in the death of 22-year-old Elijah Moore on Jan. 17.According to depu...
Published: 05/25/18