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Suspect wanted in 2 Tampa murders drowns in Missouri river, authorities say

Sherron McCombs was swimming on Sunday when he went under and didn’t resurface.
Sherron David McCombs, Jr., pictured in a Hillsborough County booking photo from September 2019, drowned Sunday in the Current River near Doniphan, Missouri, authorities said. McCombs, 22, was wanted in connection to two separate murders in Tampa.
Sherron David McCombs, Jr., pictured in a Hillsborough County booking photo from September 2019, drowned Sunday in the Current River near Doniphan, Missouri, authorities said. McCombs, 22, was wanted in connection to two separate murders in Tampa. [ Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office ]
Published Jun. 8|Updated Jun. 8

TAMPA — A suspect wanted by Tampa police in connection to two homicides reportedly drowned in a Missouri river over the weekend.

Sherron David McCombs Jr., 22, was swimming at a float camp four miles north of Doniphan, Missouri, about 3 p.m. Sunday when he began to panic, went underwater and did not resurface, according to an incident report released by the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

McCombs was visiting the river with some acquaintances when he went under, said Sgt. Clark Parrot, a Highway Patrol spokesperson.

A nearby Marine patrol trooper and an off-duty trooper who were both in the area heard screams and rushed to where McCombs had gone underwater. They searched for several minutes and recovered McCombs in an area about eight feet deep, Parrott said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators learned from McCombs’ acquaintances that he had been living and working in the Memphis, Tennessee, area for about a month. The name McCombs had given the acquaintances didn’t check out, so investigators didn’t know his real identity until a trooper used a portable fingerprinting device, Parrott said.

“As soon as we did that it set off alarms, if you will, and we discovered who he truly was,” he said.

McCombs was wanted on two first-degree murder charges, among other charges, in connection to two fatal shootings in Tampa, one in November and another in January, according to information previously released by Tampa police and Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay. Last month, Crime Stoppers announced that a $5,000 reward was available for information leading to McCombs’ arrest.

Police said McCombs and another suspect, Taymel Jerome Jackson, conspired to kill Christopher Watson after Watson provided information about a drug crime to law enforcement. Watson was found shot to death in Tampa’s 22nd Street Park on Nov. 1. A U.S. Marshals Service task force found and arrested Jackson, 30, last month.

McCombs was also a suspect in a shooting death on Jan. 3 at the Riviera at 8412 Apartments that has already netted at least one arrest.

In the case, officers responding to a shooting call found a 19-year-old man lying next to a Nissan Altima that had bullet holes in the driver side, court documents state. Surveillance video showed at least one person in a Kia Soul opened fire on the Nissan, killing the driver and sole occupant, Ja’Quan Washington. Evidence at the scene indicated Washington returned fire when the shooting started, records state.

Tampa police arrested 20-year-old Xavier Felton on March 11 on charges of first-degree murder, shooting into a vehicle and evidence tampering in connection to that case. Surveillance video obtained by detectives showed McCombs was with Felton and another unnamed suspect in the Kia on the day of the shooting, court documents state.

In a news release issued Wednesday about McCombs’ death, Tampa police said detectives believe he was driving the Kia at the time of the shooting.

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