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Pinellas shooting death followed a night at strip clubs

Dale Eugene Washington, a suspect in the shooting death of Jesse D. Cairo near Clearwater on Friday, was arrested Sunday morning in Orlando. [Courtesy Orange County Sheriff's Offce]
Dale Eugene Washington, a suspect in the shooting death of Jesse D. Cairo near Clearwater on Friday, was arrested Sunday morning in Orlando. [Courtesy Orange County Sheriff's Offce]
Published Jan. 29, 2018

The sheriff described it as a fight between two young drug dealers who had spent the night flashing cash at strip clubs.

In the end, one of the men, 22-year-old Jesse Cairo Jr. of Largo would be found shot to death with his own gun early Friday in the driveway of the home where he lived with his mother. On Sunday, deputies arrested the other, Dale Eugene Washington II, also 22, at a home in Orlando on charges of second-degree murder.

"Living a little bit of a fast and loose lifestyle, hanging out at these adult clubs and flashing a bunch of money," Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said at a news conference on Monday. "Those are all bad ingredients for disaster, and the disaster happened and unfortunately this 22-year-old kid is dead."

Deputies found Cairo around 4 a.m. Friday, shot once in the chest outside a home at 1988 Suffolk Drive near Largo. He was taken to Largo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

In the days since, Gualtieri said investigators have been able to piece together some of what preceded the shooting.

He said the men had spent part of late Thursday evening at the OZ Ladies' and Gentlemen's Nightclub on U.S. 19 in Clearwater. The sheriff said the men knew each other because they both sold marijuana.

Washington and Cairo met two women at OZ, whom they took to a second adult establishment about 2:15 a.m Friday. All four went to Cairo's home about an hour later.

That's where the argument broke out. The two women, whose identities were unknown to investigators, were initially part of the argument but later left the home, walking.

The argument escalated between the two men, and Cairo pulled out a .40-caliber Smith and Wesson semiautomatic pistol he had recently bought from a private seller, deputies said. Washington later shot Cairo with it.

After the shooting, Washington drove away from Cairo's house. His distinctive car — a small, loud and black low-riding vehicle that Gualtieri called "obnoxious" — helped deputies find him.

"One of those things that when you see it, you just get annoyed by it," Gualtieri said of the car. It awoke Cairo's neighbors as he drove away.

Orange County deputies found Washington Sunday morning at a home at 5307 Camrose Court in Orlando, Gualtieri said. The car was backed in and hidden. Investigators found Cairo's gun in the house and a large amount of marijuana packaged for sale. Gualtieri wouldn't speculate on the amount.

Washington's bail was set at $500,000. His criminal history includes six felony arrests and nine misdemeanor arrests, the sheriff said, for charges including carrying a concealed firearm, drug distribution and burglary.

Contact Josh Solomon at (813) 909-4613 or jsolomon@tampabay.com. Follow @ByJoshSolomon.