Monday, February 19, 2018
Public safety

Suspect dies after shoot-out with Clearwater police

CLEARWATER — A man who barricaded himself inside an apartment after a shoot-out with police was found dead inside by officers Wednesday afternoon.

Two Clearwater officers patrolling the Palmetto Park Apartments, at 1001 N Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., around noon said the man, who was wanted on a warrant, ran when they tried to approach him.

During the chase, the man fired a handgun multiple times at officers, police spokeswoman Elizabeth Watts said. One officer fired back, striking the gunman, who then ducked inside an apartment.

Officers attempted to contact the shooter but waited to enter, believing he was still armed, Watts said. When officers entered, they found him lying on the floor with a gun near his hand.

Paramedics were called, but the man was declared dead inside the apartment.

Late Wednesday night, police identified the man as Julius Richard Larrance, 19. Police said he was wanted on a warrant for hit and run and also was wanted for questioning in connection with a double homicide in Tampa and a lewd act in Clearwater. Details of those incidents were not available Wednesday night.

Neighbors at the complex were angry that police did not enter the apartment sooner. Blood stained the front step of the apartment, and on the doorknob hung a placard saying, "Do Not Disturb."

"I don't get on them for doing their job," said Jarvis Smith, 24, "but you don't just sit there and let a man die."

The officer who fired at the shooter, 14-year department veteran Karl Wassamer, 46, will be placed on administrative leave, as is department policy. He sustained a minor foot injury from what appears to be a bullet fragment, police said.

The other officer, Lauren Josey, 25, is considered a witness and will not be put on leave. She was hired in February.

Clearwater police and the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office will review the incident, which is standard procedure for all shootings involving police officers.

Times staff writer Diedra Rodriguez contributed to this report. Contact Drew Harwell at (727) 445-4170 or [email protected]

 
Comments

Police identify man found dead in Tampa apartment

TAMPA — Police on Monday released the identity of the man who was found dead inside an apartment last week.Officers said it was Abdirashid Ali, 50, who was discovered around 3 p.m. Friday at The Courtyard on the River Apartments, 5217 Sonora Court.De...
Updated: 24 minutes ago
Sheriff’s undercover sting nabs 26 ‘brazen’ unlicensed contractors

Sheriff’s undercover sting nabs 26 ‘brazen’ unlicensed contractors

DUNEDIN –– Pinellas sheriff’s detectives spent their weekend luring in unlicensed electrical, plumbing and other home improvement contractors to a vacant home wired with cameras.It took only hours before a stream of people arrived to work on the outd...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Video: Parkland shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz in brief court hearing

Video: Parkland shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz in brief court hearing

PARKLAND — Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz has appeared in court for a procedural hearing. Cruz said nothing at Monday’s hearing in Broward County Circuit Court, the first he attended in person and not via teleconference from jail. He ke...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Teachers say Florida shooter’s problems started in middle school, and the system tried to help him

Teachers say Florida shooter’s problems started in middle school, and the system tried to help him

PARKLAND, Fla. — The real problems started at least as early as middle school and quickly intensified. There were the vocal outbursts, disturbing drawings of stick figures with guns, constant disciplinary issues. There were threatening statements wri...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Girl, 12, sister of murder victim, reported missing in Manatee County

Girl, 12, sister of murder victim, reported missing in Manatee County

Seven months ago, Jalyssa Shannon’s older sister Janessa went missing, sparking a frantic search that ended with the discovery of the 13-year-old’s body in a Hillsborough County nature preserve and, later, the arrest of the girls’ father in her murde...
Updated: 5 hours ago
This gun owner said the Parkland shooting was the last straw. So he turned his rifle over to deputies

This gun owner said the Parkland shooting was the last straw. So he turned his rifle over to deputies

The Parkland school shooting inspired a Florida gun owner to turn his beloved AR-57 over to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office."As I struggle to make heads or tails of another senseless mass shooting in the USA, I can no longer offer only my ‘though...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Candlelight vigils tonight in Tampa Bay, statewide for Parkland shooting victims

Candlelight vigils tonight in Tampa Bay, statewide for Parkland shooting victims

Several vigils are being held in the Tampa Bay area and throughout the state to honor the 17 victims of the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.The Florida PTA is organizing the statewide vigils, which will begin at 7 p.m. u...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Head-on collision in Tampa blocks EB lanes of Courtney Campbell Causeway

Head-on collision in Tampa blocks EB lanes of Courtney Campbell Causeway

A head-on collision Monday morning has shut down many of the eastbound lanes on the Courtney Campbell Causeway.Only one lane of traffic is able to squeeze through, according to 10News Traffic.Drivers are recommended to avoid the causeway and instead ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
‘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: 12 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

TALLAHASSEE A hundred 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 l...
Updated: 12 hours ago