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Tampa shooting victim didn't heed family's advice

TAMPA — Pat Pybus, 76, worried about her grandson living in a bad part of town.

Go back to working for a lawn service, she begged him. But Carl R. Kidd, 33, wouldn't return to the old job he had when he lived with family in Zephyrhills.

Instead, the man whom everyone called Rusty stayed near east Tampa and Ybor City. He stayed close to the scrap metal business where he loved to work, close to an ex-girlfriend who just had his baby and close to the place where he was shot dead Friday night.

On Saturday, police arrested a 26-year-old Tampa man, Louie Phillip Cromartie, suspected in the fatal shooting.

Police say Kidd was visiting a woman at 3402 N Clay St. about 9:30 p.m. Friday. He sat in the living room on a love seat; she sat with Cromartie on a couch.

The woman heard a noise outside and walked to the front door. She looked back, according to an arrest affidavit, as Cromartie stood and took a gun from his pants.

"Unprovoked," the affidavit states, Cromartie shot Kidd once in the head.

Between the eyes, Kidd's grandmother said she was later told. Kidd died at the scene.

Cromartie picked up Kidd's blue duffle bag in the kitchen, told the witness to be quiet and fled, according to the affidavit.

Tampa police arrested Cromartie on Saturday morning in the area of 28th Street and E 24th Avenue.

Accused of first-degree murder, home-invasion robbery and several other charges, Cromartie remained in the Hillsborough County jail Sunday without bail. Police have not released a possible motive or the name of the woman who witnessed the shooting.

Charging documents also indicate Cromartie punched his child's mother in a car two days before the shooting. He threatened to kill her before running away, the documents state.

State records show Cromartie, also known as "Louboy," was in state prison from 2005 to 2007 on cocaine-related charges. He spent more than one stint in county jail and recorded numerous arrests before and after his various sentences.

Pybus, Kidd's grandmother, said the stolen blue duffle bag held his last paycheck. The bag was still packed from his work trip to Miami last week, and he had probably been back in Tampa for only about an hour when he died, she said.

Kidd was a short man with a big voice, Pybus remembered. Chatty and loud, he made friends easily and drowned out other people's conversations easily, she said.

He liked rap music, but favored old R&B. Last year, Kidd made up his own rap song on the porch with his grandmother and aunt. He had them laughing, Pybus said, with a line about an "old redneck trailer park" near the house, a line that she now wishes she had written down.

He leaves behind two sons: one 8 years old and cheerful, the other just 1 week old. Excited about his newborn son, Pybus said Kidd had been hoping he could see the baby every Friday.

Times researcher John Martin and staff writer Shelley Rossetter contributed to this report. Stephanie Wang can be reached at swang@sptimes.com or (813) 661-2443.

Tampa shooting victim didn't heed family's advice 07/16/11 [Last modified: Sunday, July 17, 2011 9:02pm]
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