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Suspect in Brooksville store robbery shoots self in woods

BROOKSVILLE — A 43-year-old Brooksville man wanted for questioning in the robbery of a Brooksville store shot himself late Friday after trying to flee Hernando County Sheriff's deputies.

According to a Sheriff's Office report, Charles M. Dehart's 2001 cream colored Buick, which matched the description of the car used in the robbery of the RMG General Store earlier in the day, was spotted by a deputy around 6 p.m. Friday in the area of Broad Street and Cortez Boulevard.

When the deputy attempted a traffic stop, the driver of the vehicle refused to pull over. The pursuit continued onto Mondon Hill Road and then Preston Road, where Dehart's passenger jumped from the vehicle and was taken into custody by deputies.

The passenger, who has not been identified, told authorities that Dehart had a handgun inside the vehicle.

Dehart's flight continued into eastern Hernando County to a dead end on Richbarn Road, where he got out of the car an fled on foot.

Pursuing deputies later located Dehart in a wooded area, but when they tried to move in, he raised a small .22-caliber pistol to his head and shot himself.

Dehart was airlifted to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa where he was admitted with life-threatening injuries. He was listed in critical condition Saturday.

The Sheriff's Office has determined that Dehart was the suspect in the robbery.

No one was injured in the robbery, which yielded an undisclosed amount of money.

Dehart has a lengthy criminal record in Hernando. In September he was arrested for DUI and causing damage to property.

Logan Neill can be reached at lneill@sptimes.com or 848-1435.

Suspect in Brooksville store robbery shoots self in woods 02/28/09 [Last modified: Saturday, February 28, 2009 5:32pm]
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