Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa police employee suspended as probe of police killing widens

TAMPA — A longtime Tampa Police Department employee has been suspended because her daughter was in contact with the man accused of killing two police officers, police Chief Jane Castor said Wednesday.

Police want to know if Carolyn Riggins was aware her daughter was in touch with Dontae Morris, 24, who surrendered to police Friday night.

Riggins was relieved without pay Wednesday morning. She will be fired if police find out she knew about her daughter's communication with Morris, Castor said at an 11 a.m. news conference.

Castor said Carolyn Riggins knew her daughter had a relationship with Morris' brother, Dwayne Callaway, and Morris himself but did not report it to police.

"If we find out that she had nothing to do with this, then she'll be reinstated," Castor said.

Riggins was hired in February 2000 as an office support specialist in the Tampa police department. In 2008, she became a customer service specialist. Her evaluations have all been outstanding, according to personnel records.

Riggins' daughter, Alaina Nichole Riggins, 25, was with Callaway when they were arrested at Motel 6, 333 E Fowler Ave., early Saturday, Castor said.

She was arrested on charges of cocaine and marijuana possession and possessing a firearm in the commission of a felony. Callaway faces two charges of probation violation as well as cocaine and marijuana possession.

At Carolyn Riggins' home on Maple Pointe Drive in Seffner, a woman who said she was Alaina Riggins showed up in a car with a man early Wednesday afternoon.

"Get from around here, man,"she said. "I don't got nothing to say."

Asked if she wanted to comment, Riggins tore up a television reporter's business card that was left at the front door, saying, "This is what I got to say to y'all."

The police department has "very promising leads" in its search for the gun used to kill officers David Curtis and Jeffrey Kocab early June 29, Castor said. Police believe it is the same firearm used in the murder of Derek Anderson. Morris has also been named a suspect in that murder.

As for the thousands of dollars police offered up for information leading to Morris' arrest, most will be doled out to the confidential informant, Castor said. The reward from CrimeStoppers will likely be the only part that will not be given out, she said, as tips must be made to CrimeStoppers in order to receive it.

"This is not an overnight process," she said.

Staff writer Justin George contributed to this report.

Follow This Just In on Twitter.

Tampa police employee suspended as probe of police killing widens 07/07/10 [Last modified: Thursday, July 8, 2010 8:52am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Florida education news: Athletic trainers, signing bonuses, student vaccinations and more


    SAFETY FIRST: Pasco County school district leaders decide to retain high school athletic trainers, which had been slated for elimination, amid pleas from …

  2. Rays morning after: Why Alex Cobb was out of the game and Alex Colome was in


    Alex Cobb obviously did a really good job pitching the first eight innings for the Rays on Tuesday.

    So why didn't manager Kevin Cash let him pitch the ninth?

    Because he had Alex Colome available to do so.

    Cobb had thrown only 98 pitches, so workload and fatigue were not factors.

  3. Police commander among 6 charged in deadly 1989 UK soccer deaths


    LONDON — British prosecutors charged six people Wednesday in the 1989 Hillsborough stadium disaster where 96 soccer fans were crushed to death.

    Police, stewards and supporters tend and care for wounded supporters on the pitch at Hillsborough Stadium, in Sheffield, England, on April 15, 1989. British prosecutors on Wednesday June 28, 2017, are set to announce whether they plan to lay charges in the deaths of 96 people in the Hillsborough stadium crush _ one of Britain's worst-ever sporting disasters. [Associated Press]
  4. Supreme Court term ended much different than it began


    BC-US—Supreme Court, 1st Ld-Writethru,899

    AP Photo WX109

    People visit the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, June 26, 2017, as justices issued their final rulings for the term, in Washington.  The Supreme Court began its term nine months ago with Merrick Garland nominated to the bench, Hillary Clinton favored to be the next president, and the court poised to be controlled by Democratic appointees for the first time in 50 years.  Things looked very different when the justices wrapped up their work this week. [Associated Press]
  5. SPC's Bill Law leaves with pride for the faculty, concern for students — and a story about hotdogs


    ST. PETERSBURG — The local community college had already made a name for itself when William Law Jr. first arrived on campus in the early 1980s as a vice president. Still, the school, then named St. Petersburg Junior College, was just a shadow of the sprawling state college it would later become.

    Bill Law, outgoing St. Petersburg College president, said he is proud of the college cultivating stronger relationships with the community.