Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

UT murder victim liked new neighborhood, but knew there could be danger zones

TAMPA — Hours before University of Tampa student Ryan McCall was gunned down blocks from home, he told a neighbor that he felt safe in his new riverside neighborhood.

Amelia Lubrano, 62, said McCall and his new roommates invited her and her husband to a party the evening of Aug. 18. They were celebrating a friend's 21st birthday.

The Lubranos stopped by early, around 5 p.m., and chatted over grilled burgers, impressed that the young college students would even think to invite them.

McCall, 21, told Lubrano that even though he liked the location of the house he was going to share with four other students, he was mindful of how easy it would be to unknowingly stumble into less-safe neighborhoods.

"When you're in a city you're unfamiliar with," she recalled him saying, "you don't know where you shouldn't be going."

Less than 10 hours later, at 3 a.m. Wednesday, McCall, 21, was walking home from the Retreat Lounge near UT's campus when a stranger approached him and demanded money.

As McCall's out-of-town visitor ran, a shot rang out. McCall fell, mortally wounded, at the base of the Eugene Holtsinger Bridge, which crosses the Hillsborough River on N Boulevard.

His killer remains on the loose.

News of McCall's death struck Lubrano hard, considering all they'd discussed. She wrote the McCall family, telling them of her conversation with their son.

"When he spoke of his family," Lubrano said, "his face lit up."

On Monday, police and McCall's family continued their plea for the public's help in finding the shooter.

"Detectives know there is someone who has information and they're on the fence about coming forward," Tampa police spokeswoman Andrea Davis said.

Detectives are analyzing other armed robberies in the area, looking for similarities.

The shooter is a black man in his 30s, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, 180 pounds with a husky build and a goatee. He wore a white T-shirt.

Police say the shooter wasn't happy with the amount of money McCall and friend Michael Harahan, 21, handed over.

McCall's family gathered Monday in Downington, Pa., Ryan's hometown. Funeral services are Thursday.

Kevin McCall, Ryan's father, said he is eager for the shooter to be identified and found.

"I don't want him to get anyone else," he said.

Anyone with information was asked to call Tampa police at (813) 231-6130.

Rebecca Catalanello can be reached at or (813) 226-3383.

UT murder victim liked new neighborhood, but knew there could be danger zones 08/24/09 [Last modified: Monday, August 24, 2009 9:34pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trump fallout: Bucs' DeSean Jackson to make 'statement' Sunday


    Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson said Saturday that he will make a "statement" before today's game against the Vikings in response to President Donald Trump's comment that owners should "fire" players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) makes a catch during the first half of an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017.
  2. Kriseman invites Steph Curry to St. Pete on Twitter


    Mayor Rick Kriseman is no stranger to tweaking President Donald Trump on social media.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman took to Twitter Saturday evening to wade into President Donald Trump's latest social media scuffle
  3. Death toll, humanitarian crisis grow in Puerto Rico


    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A humanitarian crisis grew Saturday in Puerto Rico as towns were left without fresh water, fuel, power or phone service following Hurricane Maria's devastating passage across the island.

    Crew members assess electrical lines in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria on Friday in Puerto Rico. Mobile communications systems are being flown in but “it’s going to take a while.”
  4. N. Korea says strike against U.S. mainland is 'inevitable'


    North Korea's foreign minister warned Saturday that a strike against the U.S. mainland is "inevitable" because President Donald Trump mocked leader Kim Jong Un with the belittling nickname "little rocketman."

  5. All-eyes photo gallery: Florida State Seminoles loss to the N.C. State Wolfpack


    View a gallery of images from the Florida State Seminoles 27-21 loss to the N.C. State Wolfpack Saturday in Tallahassee. The Seminoles will face Wake Forest on Saturday, Sept. 30 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

    Florida State Seminoles fans sing the fight song during the Florida State Seminoles game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack on September 23, 2017, at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla.  At the half, North Carolina State Wolfpack 17, Florida State Seminoles 10.