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New Jersey man shot, killed at parking lot

Police were investigating the death of a New Jersey man Saturday night who was shot shortly after arriving in Florida to take temporary custody of his child.

John W. Moreton, 26, of Audubon, N.J., was shot three times in the lot of the Days Inn at 40050 U.S. 19 about 8:30 p.m. Sgt. Ron Surmin said police think the shooting was related to the custody battle.

The man arrived at the Days Inn on Saturday and was staying there with a female friend. He had an order from a New Jersey court giving him four months' custody of his child. Guests of the motel called 911 when they heard gunshots.

Late Saturday, Surmin said, a suspect was expected to surrender at the Pinellas County Jail with an attorney. They declined to release the suspect's name.

Mike Heslop, general manager of the Days Inn, said "quite a few" people saw the shooting. Though he was working at the front desk and said he saw several people in the parking lot, he said he did not hear a confrontation or arguing in the lot.

"We heard some shots," he said.