Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Riverview man accused of firing 15 shots, injuring two women outside Brandon Waffle House

Matthew Royce Laine, 22, of Riverview faces two charges of attempted murder.

Matthew Royce Laine, 22, of Riverview faces two charges of attempted murder.

BRANDON — The scene played out like a botched gangland hit outside a suburban Waffle House.

The gunman stepped out of the restaurant just before 1 a.m. Saturday, walked up to a sport utility vehicle and poured 15 bullets through the windshield at his female targets. One young woman ducked down and avoided the gunfire, while the other slipped out the door and ran off, suffering gunshot wounds to her arm and leg, but surviving.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office on Saturday arrested a suspect — Matthew Royce Laine, 22, a Riverview security guard who faces two charges of attempted murder. Detectives are still trying to figure out what prompted the shooting, though. The victims — Briana Reddick, 20, and Princess Benoit, 16 — said they do not know Laine.

"They just don't have any answers as to why someone would want to do this to them," said Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Cristal Bermudez Nunez. "As of right now, this seems to be completely random."

Laine, who was identified by a witness at the Waffle House as the gunman, denied the charges, according to the Sheriff's Office. His only prior arrest in Florida, state records show, was a February 2010 charge of battery on a firefighter that prosecutors dropped.

Laine had been eating at the Waffle House, the Sheriff's Office said, when four girls in an SUV pulled into the parking lot. Reddick, Benoit and two other girls had been hanging out at a friend's house Friday night and decided to order takeout. Two of the girls — their names were not released by the Sheriff's Office on Saturday — went in to pick up the food while Reddick, who had been driving, and Benoit waited in the vehicle.

No altercation preceded the shooting, the Sheriff's Office said. Laine simply walked right in front of the SUV and started firing. Reddick was hit in her right leg, just above the knee, and in her right arm, and spent much of Saturday in surgery at Tampa General Hospital. Benoit, who ducked, suffered cuts to her legs as the glass from the windshield sprayed onto her.

Laine left in a silver sedan with dark rims, the Sheriff's Office said. Detectives picked him up at his home a short while later, took him in for questioning, and ultimately arrested him about 4:30 a.m., jail records show.

Times researcher Natalie Watson contributed to this report.

Riverview man accused of firing 15 shots, injuring two women outside Brandon Waffle House 11/09/13 [Last modified: Saturday, November 9, 2013 10:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Plan your weekend July 28-30: Comic Con, Lady Antebellum, Margarita Wars, Tampa's Fourth Friday


    Plan your weekend

    Geek out

    Tampa Bay Comic Con: The fan convention returns to the Tampa Convention Center this weekend, bringing actors Val Kilmer, Kate Beckinsale, Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek's Lt. Uhura), Khary Payton (Ezekiel in The Walking Dead) and the …

    Ibri Day poses for a photo at opening day of the 2015 Tampa Bay Comic Con at the Tampa Convention Center. (Friday, July 31, 2015.) [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  2. Editorial: Trump assaults rule of law by attacking attorney general


    Jeff Sessions was a terrible choice for attorney general, and the policies he has pursued in his brief tenure — cracking down on immigrants, bullying sheriffs, prosecuting low-level offenders to the max — are counterproductive. But the stinging personal attacks President Donald Trump leveled at Sessions this …

    The stinging personal attacks President Donald Trump leveled at Attorney General Jess Sessions this week assault the integrity of the Department of Justice and the rule of law.
  3. Iowa group sues United over death of giant rabbit, Simon


    DES MOINES, Iowa — A group of Iowa businessmen filed a lawsuit Wednesday against United Airlines over the death of Simon, a giant rabbit whose lifeless body was discovered in a kennel after a flight from London to Chicago.

    In this May 8, 2017 file photo, attorney Guy Cook speaks a news conference while looking at a photo of Simon, a giant rabbit that died after flying from the United Kingdom to Chicago, in Des Moines, Iowa. A group of Iowa businessmen have filed a lawsuit against United Airlines over the death of Simon. The businessmen filed the lawsuit Wednesday, July 26, 2017, more than three months after airline workers found the continental rabbit named Simon dead. [AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall]
  4. Elderly Brooksville woman dies in Wednesday crash


    BROOKSVILLE — An 87-year-old woman died following a Wednesday morning car crash, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  5. As Dow hits new high, Raymond James Financial reports record financial gains


    On the same day that the Dow closed at new highs, investment firm Raymond James Financial reported record revenues and earnings for its fiscal third quarter that ended June 30.

    Raymond James Financial CEO Paul Reilly unveiled record quarterly revenues and earnings for the St. Petersburg-based investment firm. [Courtesy of Raymond James Financial]