Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Teen arrested in killing of security officer at East Tampa apartment complex

TAMPA — A teenager with a long record of violent crime shot and killed a security officer outside an East Tampa apartment complex on Thanksgiving Eve, authorities said late Wednesday.

Police identified him as Larry Donell Brown, 16, of Tampa.

Samples of DNA taken from a bicycle found next to slain security officer Michael Valentin, 38, linked him to the murder, said Tampa police Sgt. Bill Todd.

Brown had been arrested at his home Tuesday night on other charges. When the DNA test results arrived Wednesday, he was arrested in connection with the killing. He faces charges of first-degree murder, attempted armed robbery, two counts of armed robbery, grand theft of a firearm and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Earlier Wednesday, security firm Critical Intervention Services hosted a memorial for Valentin, a father of two who was found dead outside the clubhouse of the Grande Oaks Apartments at 2604 E Hanna Ave.

Police say Valentin was armed, but his gun was still in its holster when he was discovered.

Todd said the motive for the murder was an attempted robbery. Brown acknowledged the bike at the scene was his, Todd said, and had gone to the complex to visit a female friend.

Police recovered a 9 mm handgun they said was used to shoot Valentin once in the chest.

Brown has an extensive arrest record dating to when he was 10 years old, Florida Department of Law Enforcement records show. He has at least a dozen felony convictions, mostly on charges of burglary, larceny and robbery.

Police said he is also responsible for two robberies at automated teller machines, on Nov. 24 and Tuesday. They say that each time, he rode up on a mountain bike, implied he had a gun, and demanded the victims withdraw money.

Teen arrested in killing of security officer at East Tampa apartment complex 11/28/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 11:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Q&A: A business leader and historian jointly delve into Tampa's waterfront


    TAMPA — As a native of Tampa, Arthur Savage has always had a passion for his hometown's history. And as a third-generation owner and operator of A.R. Savage & Son, a Tampa-based shipping agency, his affinity for his hometown also extends to its local waterways.

    Arthur Savage (left) and Rodney Kite-Powell, co-authors of "Tampa Bay's Waterfront: Its History and Development," stand for a portrait with the bust of James McKay Sr. in downtown Tampa on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017. McKay, who passed away in 1876, was a prominent businessman, among other things, in the Tampa area. He was Arthur Savage's great great grandfather. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  2. 25 things to remember on the 25th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew


    Twenty-five years ago today, Andrew was born.

    Aerial of a mobile home community in the Homestead area, destroyed by Hurricane Andrew. [Times (1992)]
  3. Tampa's connected-vehicle program looking for volunteers


    TAMPA — Drivers on the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway can save on their monthly toll bill by volunteering to test new technology that will warn them about potential crashes and traffic jams.

    A rendering shows how new technology available through the Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority will warn driver's about crashes, traffic jams, speed decreases and more. THEA is seeking 1,600 volunteers to install the devices, which will display alerts in their review mirrors, as part of an 18-month connected-vehicle pilot.
  4. What you need to know for Thursday, Aug. 17


    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    A rendering of what a football stadium at the University of South Florida could look like. The university's board of trustees will again discuss the possibility of bringing the Bulls back to campus. [Courtesy of USF]
  5. Hernando commission to seek state audit of sheriff's spending

    Local Government

    BROOKSVILLE — The politically volatile idea of using a separate taxing district to fund Sheriff Al Nienhuis' budget is once again off the table.

    OCTAVIO JONES   |   TimesTo clear up questions about the way Sheriff Al Nienhuis accounts for his agency's money,  county commissioners have asked for a formal audit through the state Auditor General's Office.