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Tampa police arrest 19-year-old in taxi driver's slaying

Devante Bell, 19, was arrested late Tuesday in connection with the Sunday night shooting death of a taxi driver near Busch Boulevard in Tampa.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

Devante Bell, 19, was arrested late Tuesday in connection with the Sunday night shooting death of a taxi driver near Busch Boulevard in Tampa.

TAMPA — A 19-year-old man is under arrest in the shooting death of a taxi driver near Busch Boulevard.

Police say Devante Bell is one of three men who called for a Yellow Cab just before 8 p.m. Sunday and then killed the driver, John Dooley, 56, in an attempted robbery.

In a review of phone records, investigators pinpointed the cellphone number that was used to call the cab company, according to arrest reports.

Bell was carrying the phone Tuesday night as detectives watched him leave his home at 1509 E New Orleans Ave., police said.

Bell was taken to police headquarters in downtown Tampa after agreeing to make a statement, a report said.

In an interview, Bell said he and two other men called the cab company Sunday night intending to rob the driver, according to the report.

Dooley picked them up in the 2200 block of Mallory Avenue, near Ybor City, the report said. As they rode, one of the men shot Dooley. The cab sped out of control before one of the men grabbed the steering wheel and pulled the car to a stop near Eskimo Avenue and N 18th Street, police said.

Bell helped one of the other men wipe down the inside of the cab in an effort to conceal fingerprints, according to the report.

After being interviewed, Bell was arrested. He was booked into the Hillsborough County jail on charges of first-degree murder and attempted armed robbery.

It was his second arrest, according to state records. He faced charges as a juvenile, in 2009, of robbery and theft.

Detectives were still working Wednesday to track down the other two men, police said.

A $3,000 reward, offered through Crime Stoppers, remains in place for information leading to an arrest, police said. Anyone with information can call 1-800-873-TIPS (8477).

Tampa police arrest 19-year-old in taxi driver's slaying 12/11/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 11:13pm]
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