Lakeland detective arrest two shooters for killing one, wounding three

Published Jan. 16, 2015

Two Lakeland men were arrested after holding several people hostage in a home, spraying the living room with bullets and killing one victim while wounding three, the Polk County Sheriff's Office said Friday.

Tobarias Hudson, 25, and Auban Carter, 24, approached 7665 Chase Road, Apartment #1 in Lakeland around 8:50 p.m. Sunday, demanding money and drugs from the eight people outside, according to an affidavit. Hudson was carrying a 9 mm handgun. Carter was armed with an assault rifle. They demanded everyone move indoors, where two more people were hanging out. Inside, Hudson and Carter said "they wanted everything."

Brooke Winslow, one of the guests, pulled $35 out of her back pocket and offered it to Carter, according to the affidavit. Tommy Ussery, 20, who lives at 7665 Chase Road, went into a back room. He returned with a backpack and gave it to Carter.

But when Carter looked into the backpack he became furious, demanding they give him "the money." At this point, Hudson fired a round into the ceiling. Carter began threatening Winslow and another guest, Emily Wilds, with his rifle.

Ussery stepped between Wilds and Carter and began struggling with Carter over the rifle. Carter maintained control, showering the room with bullets, the affidavit said.

Ussery was hit three times and is in critical condition. Levi Atkinson, 20, was caught in the line of fire trying to shove Hudson and Carter out of the house; he remains in critical condition at an area hospital. A bullet also grazed Madison Brown, 18, who was treated and later released. Detectives said Ussery, Atkinson and Brown all live at the Chase Road apartment, where they sell marijuana and other drugs.

Kody Zawalski, 20, of 7118 Odoniel Loop, Lakeland, was also struck by the fusillade; he died from his injuries.

Hudson and Carter walked outside and were picked up by a grey sedan. They were later found at Carter's house.

A search uncovered an SKS assault rifle under his mattress as well as 9mm ammunition. Carter and Hudson, who both have extensive criminal records, were transported to the Polk County jail.

Carter and Hudson are charged with first degree murder, seven counts of attempted murder, armed burglary of an occupied dwelling and possession of firearm by a convicted felon.

Contact Zack Peterson at 813-226-3368 or Follow @zackpeterson918.