Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Public safety

Two shot in Tampa home-invasion robbery

TAMPA — Two victims were shot in a home-invasion robbery in Tampa shortly after midnight Saturday at a motel reputed for its crime and slumlike conditions, police said.

Tampa police said a man wearing a bandana over his face approached Derek Huff, 23, as he was smoking a cigarette in the breezeway of motel room No. 7 at 7908 N Florida Ave. The man demanded money from Huff and then shot him in the back when Huff said he didn't have any.

The man then forced his way into the room and shot Mary Huff, 51, in the left arm.

The motel was spotlighted in several articles last year in the Tampa Bay Times. It is owned by former Tampa Port Authority Chairman William A. "Hoe" Brown.

The Times series showed that it housed dozens of previously homeless people who had received part-time rental assistance through Hillsborough County's former homeless recovery program. The series documented that several mobile homes placed on the property were filthy, dilapidated and frequently housed criminals alongside families. The county had not been inspecting them.

The articles led to the dismissals of the county employees who oversaw the program. The county has begun farming out the homeless rental service to private, nonprofit organizations. Brown also resigned from his position with the Port Authority.

Both victims of Sunday's shooting were transported to a local hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

Tampa police were still investigating Sunday afternoon.

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