A robbery suspect cornered by deputies opens fire, police say, then dies in a hail of bullets.
Harry Green, in town for only a few months and a suspect in an armed robbery Monday at the Citrus Park Town Center, was seen by deputies Wednesday in his navy blue Cadillac on Hillsborough Avenue.
With a lengthy criminal record in New York and South Carolina, Green saw the deputies in his rearview mirror on N MacDill Avenue, Hillsborough sheriff's Sgt. Rod Reder said.
Cornered by deputies in the Lakeside Villas apartment complex where he lived, he jumped from his car and shot sheriff's Lt. Al Luis in the face, then died in a hail of bullets.
Reder said Luis and Detective Craig Hinson saw Green point a gun.
They yelled for him to drop it, Reder said, just as he fired at Luis from about 6 feet away. Before falling, Luis returned fire along with Hinson and retired Deputy James Stewart, a passenger in Luis' car, Reder said.
Bullets rained into the Cadillac, some blowing out the back window, others hitting the windshield. Green was hit multiple times and fell back into the car, where he died.
Luis was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital, where he had surgery. Relatives asked that his condition not be released; however he is expected to survive.
Green, 43, was wanted for an armed robbery at a JC Penney in the Citrus Park Town Center. "He was at the jewelry counter trying on rings, and he grabbed the woman helping him," Reder said. "Another employee came up to help her, and he pulled out a gun."
He took a few rings and some cash and left. Surveillance cameras in the mall recorded him walking out, and employees later identified him in a photo lineup as the man at the ring counter.
"We didn't have a hard time finding him, because he had filled out a credit application to buy some rings at another store in the mall that day," Reder said.
His application, he noted, was not approved.
Detectives didn't know the suspect lived in the complex, but they knew he frequented the area, driving around in his prized Cadillac, Reder said. They saw the car on Hillsborough Avenue and followed him back toward the complex.
Many people in the complex, like the couple across the street, didn't want to give their names to reporters out of fear that the suspect's friends would seek retribution. But they pointed out his apartment, 111, and told all they knew about the quiet, reserved newcomer who was constantly buffing and cleaning his navy blue Cadillac.
Green was polite, always saying hello or goodbye to his neighbors, and he didn't mind making small talk while he cleaned his car in front of his apartment building. He lived alone, but had a buddy that occasionally came over to have a beer on the patio while they listened to rap on the stereo.
Ronald Bogdahn lived in the building across the parking lot from the suspect and never knew his name. On Sunday, however, the two men had their first conversation, as Bogdahn watched him cleaning his car, which Green said was sold to him by his parents in New York.
"He complained about trying to find work," Bogdahn said. "He had worked at Canada Dry, the bottling company, but had hurt his back and lost his job.
"He complained about not having any food in his refrigerator, and about not having the time or money to get groceries. He talked about his parents, how they were supposed to hook him up with some money but they didn't," Bogdahn said.
After the shooting, deputies searched Green's apartment and found a ski mask, latex gloves and marijuana, Reder said.
_ Angela Moore can be reached at 813-226-3373 or at amooresptimes.com