Sunday, February 25, 2018
Public safety

Tampa police investigate two deaths at Sulphur Springs home

SULPHUR SPRINGS — The young boy walked into the house on Brooks Street after school Monday. He was just stopping by to pick up some things.

He couldn't figure out why 36-year-old Lacy Coleman wouldn't wake up.

The boy ran outside to tell an adult — Coleman's cousin — who then went inside the home at 8218 N Brooks St. and discovered her dead. In another room, a man was also dead.

Both died of blunt trauma to their upper bodies, police said.

Investigators said the killings were not random — that the house had been targeted. They were looking for a killer, but said no suspect description was yet available.

Police said their investigation had turned up several names for the adult man and woman found dead in the house. They said they would ask the medical examiner to positively identify them through fingerprints.

Several family members at the scene, however, told the Tampa Bay Times that one of the victims was Coleman.

Police got the 911 call at 1:41 p.m., but had to wait several hours for a judge to sign a search warrant so investigators could go inside the pale pink house, near Waters and Nebraska avenues.

Meanwhile, a crowd of about 100 gathered along the police tape surrounding the house — including family members.

Terryelle Cohens loudly sobbed. Coleman is her mother.

"When I had nobody, I could count on her," she said. "I don't know what I'm going to do. She's all I've got."

Several family members held on to Cohens. One handed her a cigarette.

"They didn't have to kill my mother," she said, crying.

Coleman loved to sit on her porch and watch the neighborhood children play, family members said. She bought a little pool for them to cool off during hot afternoons, said Elaine Forbes, a cousin.

"She was real sweet," said Forbes, 31. "She didn't bother anybody."

Several people lived in the house, including the man who was found dead. Family members said Coleman would take in friends who needed a place to stay.

Coleman had two daughters.

Several family members said they had no idea why anyone would harm her.

Police did not release a motive for the killings.

Times news researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3433.

Comments
Police: Man, 60, arrested for fleeing from fatal Largo pedestrian crash

Police: Man, 60, arrested for fleeing from fatal Largo pedestrian crash

LARGO — A 60-year-old man who police said was the driver in a fatal pedestrian hit-and-run on East Bay Drive from three days prior was arrested by Largo Police on Saturday, the department said.Victor Bonavita was arrested on three charges in relation...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Sheriff: Roads reopen after Tampa crash results in natural gas leak near Citrus Park Mall

Sheriff: Roads reopen after Tampa crash results in natural gas leak near Citrus Park Mall

TAMPA — Officials reopened roads near Citrus Park Mall Saturday evening that had been closed in the afternoon for a natural gas leak caused by a car crash, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said. The Sheriff’s Office and Hillsborough County Fi...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Police: Male motorcyclist crashed, then the driver was run over by two cars

Police: Male motorcyclist crashed, then the driver was run over by two cars

TAMPA — A male motorcyclist died early Saturday morning on the Courtney Campbell Causeway, the Tampa Police Department said.About 1:35 a.m., the victim rode his motorcycle west on the Courtney Campbell at high speeds, police said. The motorcycle stru...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Broward sheriff’s office launches internal investigations amid questions after Parkland massacre

Broward sheriff’s office launches internal investigations amid questions after Parkland massacre

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office said it is investigating allegations that multiple deputies failed to enter Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, after the shooting rampage there, adding to the mounting internal probes examin...
Published: 02/24/18
Police: Registered sex offender who attacked Marriott hotel worker arrested

Police: Registered sex offender who attacked Marriott hotel worker arrested

TAMPA — A registered sex offender was arrested early Saturday morning by Tampa Police in connection with a hotel worker who was attacked earlier this week, the department said.John Eckhard, 41, was arrested about 1:30 a.m. on charges of aggravated ba...
Published: 02/24/18
Parents accused of torturing their 13 children face new charges

Parents accused of torturing their 13 children face new charges

The 13 Turpin siblings gained their freedom last month after one of them escaped through a window and called 911, ending years of imprisonment under parents accused of starving and chaining them to their beds in a putrid home not far from Los Angeles...
Published: 02/24/18
Concerned about gun posts, dad turns in son’s phones. Cops find something else.

Concerned about gun posts, dad turns in son’s phones. Cops find something else.

After the Parkland school shooting that horrified the nation, a Miami father told police he was worried about his son’s disturbing posts with guns on Instagram and Snapchat.So he gave investigators his son’s smartphones — and they found child porn, c...
Published: 02/24/18
Trump processes Fla. students’ grief as president, parent

Trump processes Fla. students’ grief as president, parent

WASHINGTON — Once again, it was the images of children that propelled President Donald Trump to act. Trump spent the first days after the Feb. 14 school shooting in Florida fixated on the grieving and anguished students and parents. While at his Flor...
Published: 02/24/18
Gun legislation unease looms over Tampa gun show attendees, vendors

Gun legislation unease looms over Tampa gun show attendees, vendors

TAMPA — Hundreds lined up minutes after one of the state’s biggest gun shows opened its doors Saturday morning at the Florida State Fairgrounds.About 400 people from the entrance stood Austin Nichols, a 19-year-old looking to get a deal on bullets. H...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Restricting bullets rather than guns might cut toll of school shootings, some experts say

Restricting bullets rather than guns might cut toll of school shootings, some experts say

This is the sad new math in the age of school slaughter. If one student comes to school with a firearm and 10 ammunition magazines filled with 30 bullets each, and another comes with a firearm and 30 magazines filled with 10 bullets each, who can cr...
Published: 02/23/18