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Suspect in Tampa auto body shop homicide in custody after shootout with Georgia police

He was released from state prison in February after serving a 10-year sentence for robberies that occurred in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, records show.

A man suspected in a homicide at a Tampa auto body shop earlier this week has been arrested in Georgia after he got into a shootout with police in which he was shot and an officer was grazed by a bullet, authorities said.

Tampa police were summoned to the shop in the 1900 block of W. St. Joseph Street just before 1 p.m. Tuesday, where they found a 29-year-old man dead in a garage bay. The man, who police have not publicly identified, suffered from upper body trauma.

On Wednesday, William Welland, 37, of Tampa, was apprehended in southern Georgia after he shot at officers, grazing one, authorities said.

Welland was shot multiple times and was being treated at a hospital Thursday. Tampa police detectives headed to Georgia on Thursday to continue their investigation of the homicide, police reported.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation reported that just before noon Wednesday, Lanier County officers were sent to Lakeland, Ga., after a report of a home invasion in which a homeowner was shot and the suspect tried to steal a vehicle.

The suspect in that case was later identified as Welland, who was driving a black Audi reported stolen in Tampa, authorities said. Welland then drove to another home and stole a mini-van, authorities said.

Deputies saw Welland and tried to pull him over, but he led them on a short pursuit, then left the van and ran away. He fired at officers and they returned fire, authorities said.

Welland and the home owner he is accused of shooting were being treated at a hospital in Valdosta, Ga. Their conditions were not released.

The officer who was grazed also was treated at that hospital and later released.

Welland has an arrest record in Hillsborough County that includes charges of robbery and cocaine possession. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2010 for robberies that occurred in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, Florida Department of Corrections records show.

He was released from prison in February and is on supervised release until 2025, records show.