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Suspect named in shooting of Zephyrhills father, daughter

ZEPHYRHILLS — Authorities have identified the suspect in a shooting last week that injured a man and his 11-year-old daughter.

Donnie Lee Wheeler and his girlfriend lived at the home at 8601 Old Lakeland Highway and were involved in manufacturing methamphetamine, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said.

When a truck arrived at 4 a.m. Friday, authorities said, Wheeler opened fire on the people outside his home.

One bullet fragmented on the truck and hit Kenneth Criger, 44, in four places on his back. His daughter, whose name has not been released, was shot in the jaw.

Both were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office wants Wheeler, 44, on a charge of attempted murder, and investigators want to question his girlfriend, Melissa Kay Spencer, 30.

The two are also wanted on charges of possession and manufacture of methamphetamine.

A Pasco SWAT team searched the home and found a gun and drug manufacturing materials, but Spencer and Wheeler were gone, the Sheriff's Office said.

Wheeler has prior arrests for possession of drugs, including cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine, as well as charges of theft and resisting arrest.

Authorities said Wheeler should be considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information on their whereabouts may call Detective Zak Arey toll-free at 1-800-854-2862, ext. 5016.

Suspect named in shooting of Zephyrhills father, daughter 08/15/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 12:46am]
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