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Tampa police make arrest in shooting death of Middleton High School senior

TAMPA — Three young men died on Veterans Day in a bloody wave of shootings in Hillsborough County. Police say they caught one of the killers Wednesday but need the public's help in finding the others.

Two shots to the chest ended the life of a popular Middleton High School senior Nov. 11 in a Palmetto Beach neighborhood following a fight about a stolen bicycle, Tampa police said.

Gregory Allen Jr., 18, ran from a large crowd in Desoto Park and was approached by two men, according to police reports.

At 5:30 p.m., one of them shot him twice in the chest in front of a vacant building at 201 N 26th St., police said.

Officers said Allen was able to give a short description of his attacker to police before he was taken to Tampa General Hospital, where he died.

Now two eyewitnesses have identified Alexandro Garibaldi, 17, of 2422 E Clark St. as the person who shot Allen, according to police spokeswoman Andrea Davis.

"At least five people put the suspect at the scene," Davis said. Garibaldi contacted his lawyer after his Wednesday arrest and has not cooperated with detectives, Davis said. He was taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center and charged with second-degree murder with a firearm and juvenile in possession of a firearm.

Davis said Garibaldi is a high school dropout with previous arrests.

More than 100 Middleton students sought grief counseling after learning about the death of Allen, who was remembered as kind, helpful and happy-go-lucky.

Allen's murder was the first in a string of violence that happened on a particularly bloody evening on Veterans Day. Three young men died of gunshots and a fourth was wounded in about three hours on Nov. 11.

Garibaldi is the only one arrested so far in those cases.

No new information has turned up in the murder of Marc Strode, 20, shot dead during an attempted robbery at an outdoor card game at 4309 W Arch St., Davis said.

And there are no suspects in the attempted robbery and shooting of Alexandro Lopez Jimenez, 19, wounded by three bullets as he walked behind the Publix on Waters Avenue and Hanley Road.

Also, Hillsborough deputies are still hunting for Christopher Grim, 19, of 17804 Canary Point Lane, wanted for a second-degree murder in connection with the shooting of 25-year-old Anthony Prather.

Prather drove into a Citgo Station on 2245 Fletcher Ave and a man got into his car. Seconds later he stumbled out, bleeding from a neck wound, and collapsed in front of the store.

He was able to tell witnesses and deputies that "Chris" shot him, and that his shooter was the last person to call his cell phone. He died en route to the hospital, according to the Hillsborough county Sheriff's Office.

Deputies said they found Grim's fingerprint on the door of Prather's Cadillac and phone records showed Grim called Prather one minute before a person in surveillance video entered the passenger side of the car.

If you have information about any of these cases, please call the Hillsborough County sheriff's office at (813) 247-8200 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-8477.

Tampa police make arrest in shooting death of Middleton High School senior 11/25/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 25, 2009 11:24pm]
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