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Tampa man arrested in fatal shooting in Tampa

A memorial for Sabrina Broxton sits near the intersection of N Hubert Avenue and W Grace Street in Tampa on Sunday, a day after Broxton, 24, was fatally shot. Broxton had been planning a neighborhood barbecue for Sunday.

BRYAN THOMAS | Times

A memorial for Sabrina Broxton sits near the intersection of N Hubert Avenue and W Grace Street in Tampa on Sunday, a day after Broxton, 24, was fatally shot. Broxton had been planning a neighborhood barbecue for Sunday.

TAMPA — Kim Davenport went to get a haircut Saturday. As he steered his wheelchair through his tight-knit Carver City neighborhood, all seemed calm.

"Little kids playing and everything, like a normal day," he said.

Then he heard shouts, a commotion, maybe a fight he wanted to see. He rolled closer and closer, until the calm broke into panic.

"All of a sudden I see him come around the gate with a gun, and he said, 'Y'all want to (mess) with me?' "

Davenport arrived just as a neighborhood argument was catapulted into tragedy by a handgun.

Tampa police say Antonio D. King, 31, pointed a 9mm pistol at 24-year-old Sabrina Broxton and said, "You got something to say now?" before firing bullets into her thigh and head.

"I see her drop. I see her knees buckle," Davenport recounted Sunday, describing the murder of a neighbor he saw grow up. "Blood was coming out of her nose and her ears. And her eyes were wide open, like silver dollars, like she was looking at me. I keep seeing that over and over again."

He lay still as he described the scene, his left side paralyzed from a bullet to the head 20 years ago — the end of a dustup over a girl. At 39, he is wiser now, and on Saturday he sprang to action, calling 911 immediately with a description and tag number of the suspect's fleeing car.

Minutes later, police arrested King at a gas station two blocks away. King admitted "that he did fire a gun in the victim's direction," a police report shows.

He is charged with first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder. He was being held without bail at a Hillsborough County jail.

Police say he shot at two people in a car. Three witnesses say it was even worse: a furious man firing wildly into a crowd.

How it all began is more clear; why it did is not.

Broxton's best friend, Crystal Archie, said just before 7 p.m. Saturday she walked over to a group of friends chatting near the corner of W Grace Street and N Hubert Avenue — a popular neighborhood meeting spot.

It was also in front of the home that King moved into about a month ago. He didn't seem to fit in on a corner where everyone knew one another, neighbors said, because he scowled at passersby.

"Always looking, always mean," Archie said.

But Saturday was worse. When Archie arrived, King was shouting about a scuffle with another neighbor.

Broxton was with her boyfriend, Jermaine Buie, whose car was parked at the corner with the doors open. Two other friends were near another parked car. Broxton and Buie were about to go to the supermarket for a barbecue planned for the next day.

Then, Buie and King began arguing, and Broxton jumped in.

"She was trying to break up a fight," Archie said. "Then (King) hit her. And when he hit her, she went after him. It all happened so fast."

That's when Broxton's brother, Oris Jr., pulled up on his moped. He said he pulled his sister off of King, who then ran into his house. Moments later, King emerged with a gun, he said.

Everyone ran.

Oris Broxton Jr. said he ran about 25 feet until he turned back for his sister. "I see the dude coming to my sister, they arguing, he got the gun in his hand, the next thing you know, two seconds later: Bam. Bam."

Archie said she ran to her house as more shots rang out behind her. Another friend ducked in her car and sped away, Archie said, unknowingly dragging another neighbor down the street. That car was shot several times and impounded by police, she said.

Davenport said King "shot into the crowd, just shooting, like he ain't give a damn who he hit."

Since 1998, King has been arrested nine times — twice in connection with domestic violence, but charges were not pursued in either case, records show. Past arrests show he lived for years in north Tampa.

Less than 24 hours later, pink-and-red plastic flowers marked the spot where Sabrina Broxton died.

Inside the home next door, where King told police he lived, a Tampa homicide detective interviewed a woman.

Three doors down, dozens gathered at Broxton's home. Most had planned to be there anyway for a cookout — Sabrina Broxton had invited them.

She graduated from the Richard Milburn Academy charter school in 2005 and soon began working at UPS. She stopped last year to care for her mother, who suffers from lupus.

She loved bowling, water biking and playing dominoes, friends said, and dreamed of opening a day care.

The youngest of four siblings, "she was a daddy's girl," said her father, Oris Broxton II. "Very bubbly, warm, outgoing, joyful, cheerful."

She was a connector for the family, always one to pull people together, said her sister, Regina Jackson.

While recalling her late sister planning the cookout where the family grieved on Sunday, Jackson broke down into heavy sobbing.

Her father listened for a moment, and then tried to explain.

"You hear about it and you see it. But when it's right at your front door, it's truly unimaginable."

Times staff writer Danny Valentine and Times researcher Natalie Watson contributed to this report. Jack Nicas can be reached at (813) 226-3401 or jnicas@sptimes.com.

Tampa man arrested in fatal shooting in Tampa 04/03/11 [Last modified: Monday, April 4, 2011 1:19am]

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