CLEARWATER — A 16-year-old who was shot and killed in a Clearwater apartment Wednesday morning was a runaway from a state facility in New Jersey, police say.
Jason Richard Henderson was discovered dead in his apartment on Sunset Point Road at about 8 a.m. Wednesday after police responded to reports of gunfire in the Del-Ray apartment complex.
Henderson attended Lenape High School in south New Jersey and, according to New Jersey State Police, was arrested on robbery and drug charges. He was placed in a state facility but ran away to Florida, where he eventually settled in Clearwater, according to Clearwater police spokeswoman Elizabeth Watts.
It's unclear whether he was in a juvenile detention facility. It's also unclear when he ran away and came to Florida.
He had been living in the apartment at Del-Ray for only a month or two when he was shot, Watts said. The apartment was rented under the name of a friend of the family, but Henderson was the only person staying there at the time of the shooting, she said.
Henderson's mother lives in New Jersey.
Watts said detectives are investigating the homicide and could not release any information about possible suspects or motives. Police said Wednesday they do not believe the killing was a random act.
On MySpace.com in January, Henderson invited a friend to join him in his new home in Florida. He was paying $550 in rent each month for a two-bedroom apartment, he said, and was holding down two jobs — one of them in roofing.
Martine Powers can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 445-4224.