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Woman found dead in street prompts Clearwater homicide investigation

CLEARWATER — Eric Townsend was watching the waning minutes of the Sunday Night Football game when he was drawn to his window to investigate a loud boom.

"It was like 'bow!' " said Townsend, 36.

Townsend peeked through his blinds and saw a woman lying in the middle of the road outside his Palmetto Street home.

"She had her legs in the air, and the bike was on top of her," he said.

Clearwater police said the woman was fatally shot while riding her bicycle around 11 p.m. at Palmetto Street and Fairburn Avenue in a residential neighborhood just west of N Betty Lane. It happened just one block east of Clearwater Intermediate School.

By Monday evening, police had not publicly identified the victim, who was said to be in her 30s.

Detectives were still trying to notify the woman's relatives, said Clearwater police spokeswoman Elizabeth Watts.

Police said they hadn't identified any suspects and didn't know if the slaying was random or if the woman was targeted.

Townsend said he saw a passing van stop moments after the shooting.

Two men got out to try to help the woman, then flagged down another passing motorist. The trio tried to perform CPR.

Clearwater Fire and Rescue responded to a "person down" call, then called police when they reached the woman, Watts said.

Officials declined to specify where she had been shot, but Townsend said it appeared she had been shot in the chest.

Tieesha Cogdell, 31, was asleep when her 7-year-old daughter woke her up, saying she had heard a firework and could see Christmas lights outside.

The Christmas lights turned out to be police cars, which swarmed the area after the shooting and closed off Palmetto Street in both directions.

After hearing the woman died, Cogdell's daughter, Ahlanah Brown, had a special request for her mom: "We've got to say a prayer for her and her family, because her family's not going to ever see her again."

Mother and daughter prayed. They spent the night cuddled up to one another, wide awake.

Authorities ask anyone with information to contact the Clearwater police tip line at (727) 562-4422. Tipsters can also remain anonymous by texting CWPD and tip information to 847411 (tip411). Anonymous web tips can be submitted through the department's website at clearwaterpolice.org or its Facebook page at facebook.com/ClearwaterPolice.

>>If you can help

Call the tip line

Anyone with information is asked to call the Clearwater police tip line at (727) 562-4422. Tipsters may also remain anonymous by texting CWPD and tip information to 847411 (tip411). Anonymous web tips can be submitted through the department's website at clearwaterpolice.org or its Facebook page at facebook.com/ClearwaterPolice .

. If you can help

Hed goes here

Anyone with information is asked to call Clearwater police tip line at (727) 562-4422. Tipsters may also remain anonymous by texting CWPD and tip information to 847411 (tip411). Anonymous web tips can be submitted through the department's website at clearwaterpolice.org or its Facebook page at facebook.com/ClearwaterPolice .

Woman found dead in street prompts Clearwater homicide investigation 09/26/11 [Last modified: Monday, September 26, 2011 11:17pm]
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