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Two shot in fight over trike

Davon Olajuwon Church, 18, was arrested after a hostage negotiator persuaded him to leave a tobacco shop. He is charged with attempted murder in the shooting at a HART bus stop.

CHRIS ZUPPA | Times

Davon Olajuwon Church, 18, was arrested after a hostage negotiator persuaded him to leave a tobacco shop. He is charged with attempted murder in the shooting at a HART bus stop.

TOWN 'N COUNTRY — A 75-year-old man resting at a HART bus stop refused to give a young man his tricycle and the young man shot him and another man who tried to intervene, the Hills­borough Sheriff's Office said Tuesday.

Davon Olajuwon Church, 18, ran down W Waters Avenue, near Hanley Road, ditched the pistol and barricaded himself inside a tobacco shop for 45 minutes before a hostage negotiator persuaded him to surrender, deputies said.

During the bus stop scuffle over the tricycle, they said, Church fired at least eight rounds, striking Teodoro Ferrer of Town 'N Country in the leg after punching him. When bystander David J. Thomas, 42, of Fort Lauderdale, tried to stop Church from pedaling away, Church shot him in the shin, said sheriff's spokesman J.D. Callaway.

Both men were taken to St. Joseph's Hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.

"He doesn't hurt anybody," Ferrer's wife, Aurora Luna, 75, said in Spanish at her home. "People like him."

Luna said her husband doesn't drive and used his tricycle to ride to Wal-Mart to shop. He was on an errand to buy razors Tuesday, she said.

He called her from the hospital to say he had stopped to rest on the bench when a man stepped off the bus just after noon and asked to borrow his tricycle for a spin around the neighborhood. Ferrer refused, Luna said, telling the man he would never see the tricycle again if he let him use it.

Callaway said Church told detectives that someone else pulled the trigger and gave him the gun, which he tossed somewhere in the woods before ducking into the Recked Smoke Shop in a strip mall at 8216 and 8218 W Waters Ave. Deputies arrested Church and charged him with two counts of attempted murder, attempted armed robbery and elderly abuse.

Deputies listed Church as having an unknown address. Jail records for a November arrest on robbery listed his address as 1535 Krestrel Way in Brandon.

On Tuesday, detectives walked Church through the strip mall's parking lot in handcuffs and to nearby woods in the Pat Acres Estates as they searched for the weapon. Investigators continued looking for the gun as they collected evidence at the smoke shop and the bus stop.

The lunchtime shooting caused deputies to close both directions of W Waters Avenue near Pinehurst Drive and order patrons at the Victoria Square strip mall to remain inside.

"Within five minutes, everything was shut down," said Evey Cabrera, 34, who said she had just arrived to eat lunch with a friend when she saw Church running into the smoke shop.

Anna Miranda, 31, used her digital camera to take pictures as deputies surrounded the smoke shop with their weapons drawn. A female employee who ran screaming from the shop when Church entered gave deputies the store's telephone number to talk Church into surrendering.

Miranda said Church finally emerged, bare chested and waving a white T-shirt in the air.

"It was very scary," Miranda said.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement records show that Church has numerous juvenile arrests, including one on a robbery charge in November at the age of 17. Other charges have included battery on a school employee, petty theft, possession of a weapon or firearm on school property, trespassing and burglary.

Times researcher John Martin and staff

writers Alexandra Zayas and Abbie VanSickle contributed to this report. Kevin Graham can be reached at kgraham@sptimes.com or

(813) 226-3433.

Two shot in fight over trike 04/22/08 [Last modified: Thursday, April 24, 2008 11:51am]
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