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Officers who fatally shot USF-area rape suspect cleared

TAMPA — The Hillsborough deputies and Tampa police officers who fired shots at Charlie "Chris" Bates on Sept. 6, killing Bates, were justified in their use of deadly force, prosecutors decided.

Bates was accused of a series of rapes, assaults and batteries in the University of South Florida area early that day. Dozens of law enforcement personnel converged on the area to find Bates, whom they quickly had pegged as their suspect. They soon found him on the road in a stolen car and officers gave chase on U.S. 301, as Bates headed south toward Interstate 4.

Officers say they started shooting at Bates after he began shooting out of his car. Bates died soon after the firefight, which culminated outside of a Waffle House in eastern Hillsborough.

In a letter sent to the agencies this week, the Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office states that its staff went to the shooting scene, observed a reconstruction of events and interviewed the seven people involved. They are the Hillsborough Sheriff Office's Maj. Clyde Eisenberg, Deputy Travis Wright, Deputy Alan Grinaldi, and the Tampa Police Department's Officer Mark Montague, Sgt. Borthland Murray, Officer Ron Simpson and Cpl. Selser Pickett.

No charges will be filed against any law enforcement personnel, states the letter, signed by State Attorney Mark Ober.

Officers who fatally shot USF-area rape suspect cleared 10/04/13 [Last modified: Saturday, October 5, 2013 12:12am]

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