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SWAT situation at Hillsborough home was search for homicide suspect

The man, who is wanted in connection with a fatal shooting at a Plant City bar, was not found at the home, deputies said.
Neighbors living around the 20000 block of Still Wind Drive have been evacuated as a precaution, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says.
Neighbors living around the 20000 block of Still Wind Drive have been evacuated as a precaution, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says. [ Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office ]
Published May 3|Updated May 4

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office evacuated nearby residents and summoned a SWAT team to a home in the Morris Bridge Manor neighborhood near the Pasco County line Tuesday after reports that a homicide suspect had been seen there.

Ultimately, the suspect, Oscar Molina, 44, was not found. Molina is wanted in connection with an April 13 homicide in Plant City, the agency said.

Sheriff’s officials said “investigative leads” led them to the home in the 20000 block of Still Wind Drive just after 9 a.m. Tuesday. The SWAT Team and crisis negotiators were brought to the scene and “homes to the immediate left, right and front were evacuated as a precaution,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

“Due to the large law enforcement presence, school bus stops in the neighborhood were affected during the afternoon hours,” the release states.

The sheriff’s office coordinated with Hillsborough County Public Schools to set up new drop-off locations in the area for two bus stops. Deputies escorted a small group of students to their homes in the area.

After multiple attempts to reach Molina inside the home — including the use of a robot — deputies determined Molina was not there. Sheriff’s officials did not release what information led them to believe Molina was inside the home.

”Due to the nature of his crimes, this was intel that we had to act on immediately in order to try to locate this violent, dangerous individual. We will continue our pursuit of this homicide suspect until he is arrested,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement. “If anyone knows his whereabouts, we are urging you to please call us before he is able to hurt someone else.”

Oscar Juan Molina, 44, was identified by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office as the shooter in an incident that left one man dead and another injured at Twilight Zone Liquor in Plant City on April 13.
Oscar Juan Molina, 44, was identified by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office as the shooter in an incident that left one man dead and another injured at Twilight Zone Liquor in Plant City on April 13. [ Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office ]

Sheriff’s officials said Molina opened fire after a fight escalated about 10 p.m. April 13 at Twilight Zone Liquor, 4010 State Road 60. The fight started at the business’s bar and spilled into the parking lot.

A deputy responding to an unrelated call nearby heard a gunshot and came to the bar’s parking lot.

The deputy arrived in time to see a car leave and crash. The male driver had a gunshot wound and was taken to Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center with injuries not considered life-threatening.

A second victim was found in a field next to the bar. He was taken to South Florida Baptist Hospital in Plant City and died there.

The Sheriff’s Office did not release the names of the shooting victims.

Deputies said Molina fled the shooting in a 2016 black Dodge Charger with plate number JLRN07. Molina is 6 feet tall with a medium build, a goatee and a tattoo on the side of his neck, according to deputies.

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Anyone with information on Molina’s whereabouts can call the sheriff’s office at 813-247-8200.

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