Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Three charged with attempted murder in Palm Harbor vehicle shooting

DUNEDIN — Three people are facing attempted murder charges after they shot into a vehicle on U.S. 19 in Palm Harbor early Monday, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

No one was injured in the shooting, which deputies are calling a road rage incident.

Officials say an on-duty patrol deputy was traveling west on Tampa Road approaching Arbor Glenn Drive in Palm Harbor about 2:20 a.m. when he saw a blue Ford Focus speeding east on Tampa Road.

As the deputy started to make a U-turn to pursue the Ford, the car abruptly stopped. The driver of the Focus, 21-year-old Dusty Smith, told the deputy he and his two passengers — 24-year-old Danny R. Ford and 20-year-old Stephanie L. Storm — were being chased and shot at by people in a white Chevrolet Lumina.

As Smith told his story to the deputy, the Lumina passed by eastbound on Tampa Road, then quickly turned south on Arbor Glenn Drive, reports say.

The deputy called for help, and responding deputies pulled over the Lumina, driven by 19-year-old Amanda McElmurray of 7290 S Gilbert Ter. in Lecanto, at Solon Avenue and Belcher Road in Dunedin. Benjamin D. Ducharme, 36, of 3741 Cracker Lane in Homosassa, was the shooter and riding in the front, deputies say. Steven A. LeBlanc, 31, of 15011 Old Stagecoach Road in Brooksville, was riding in the back, reports say.

Deputies say Ducharme admitted to shooting at the Focus and owning the .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun used in the shooting, which deputies found in the Lumina. He was arrested and charged with attempted murder and carrying a concealed firearm.

McElmurray, the driver, was arrested and charged with attempted murder. LeBlanc, the rear passenger, also was arrested and charged with attempted murder because deputies say he knew what was about to occur. He also was charged with carrying a concealed weapon — a knife.

The incident remains under investigation.

Late Monday morning, all three were being held in the Pinellas County Jail. Ducharme's bail was $120,000. LeBlanc's was $100,500 and McElmurray's was $100,000.

Three charged with attempted murder in Palm Harbor vehicle shooting 11/29/10 [Last modified: Monday, November 29, 2010 9:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. WIlson Ramos feeling good and confident, eyeing late June return to Rays


    Sitting on the bench in the Rays dugout in his full catcher's gear, Wilson Ramos talked excitedly Tuesday about the progress in his recovery from right knee surgery and the potential to be back in the major leagues by this time next month.

    "I feel like a player right now,'' Ramos said.

    Wilson Ramos is aiming to be back with the Rays by this time next month.
  2. Hernando teacher faces sexual battery charges


    BROOKSVILLE — Deputies arrested a teacher on charges of sexual battery Tuesday, the Hernando County Sheriff's Office said.

  3. Drought forces tougher watering restrictions on Tampa Bay


    Homeowners in Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties will be limited to watering their lawns only once a week under new, tighter watering restrictions imposed Tuesday by the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

    A fallen pine tree burns and smolders in a section of pine flatwoods earlier this month in the Starkey Wilderness Preserve in Pasco County. Drought conditions have helped spark wildfires across the state. Now homeowners in Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties will face tighter watering restrictions imposed Tuesday by the Southwest Florida Water Management District. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  4. Sharing extreme views, neo-Nazis sometimes convert to radical Islam


    It sounds like an unlikely leap of faith: a neo-Nazi converting to Islamic extremism.

    Devon Arthurs, 18, told police  he shared neo-Nazi beliefs with his roommates, Jeremy Himmelman and Andrew Oneschuk, until he converted to Islam, according to a police report .
[Tampa Police]
  5. Manchester police hunt for accomplices after concert blast

    Public Safety

    MANCHESTER, England — As investigators hunted for possible accomplices of a suicide bomber, thousands of people poured into the streets of Manchester in a vigil Tuesday for victims of a blast that bathed a pop concert in blood - the latest apparent battle-scarred target of Islamic extremists seeking to rattle …

    Emergency services work at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England Monday, May 22, 2017. Several people have died following reports of an explosion Monday night at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England, police said. A representative said the singer was not injured.  [Peter Byrne | PA via AP]