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Second suspect arrested in fatal Plant City shooting

PLANT CITY — A second suspect in a fatal November shooting was arrested Tuesday, according to Plant City police.

Javier Edgardo Castillo, 16, of Plant City, was charged with second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder, police said. He was booked and held Tuesday at a juvenile assessment center.

Plant City police did not elaborate on what they believed to be Castillo's role in the shooting. They did not disclose what led to his arrest, more than three weeks after the Nov. 12 slaying.

Described by police as a spray of bullets into a crowd outside on the 800 block of E Laura Street, the shooting killed Laronia Fay Bowers, 51, and injured Edward Eugene Mincy, 59.

Police have not released a possible motive in the killing but have said the shooting did not appear to be a random attack.

An affidavit in the investigation, though, indicates Bowers and Mincy may not have been the intended victims.

State records show Castillo was previously arrested by Plant City police shortly after his 14th birthday in 2009, accused of kidnapping and lewd and lascivious behavior.

On Tuesday, police did not reveal whether there was a possible relationship between Castillo and another suspect in the case, 18-year-old Abel Cruz Dimas of Lakeland.

Dimas was arrested the day of the shooting, stopped in a sport utility vehicle matching a description of a vehicle leaving the scene.

Authorities identified Dimas as a Sur-13 gang member known as "Big Bird." He was being held in Hillsborough County Jail without bail, charged with second-degree murder and attempted murder.

The shooting coincided with another violent crime discovered nearby the same day, a flurry of violence that rocked a small Plant City neighborhood.

A few blocks away from the shooting, police discovered two bodies inside a home at 506 E Ohio St. They say Faye Kitchen, 59, and Shannon Thomas, 33, had been beaten to death.

No suspects or arrests have been announced in that case.

Police have said the two incidents appeared unrelated. Both investigations are ongoing.

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Stephanie Wang can be reached at or (813) 661-2443.

Second suspect arrested in fatal Plant City shooting 12/06/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 6, 2011 11:04pm]
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