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Tampa home invaders kill woman when bullet pierces bathroom wall

TAMPA — Assailants who burst into a Tampa apartment Thursday night shot and injured a man and killed a woman in another room after the bullet passed through a wall, police said Friday morning.

Lydia Huggins, 49, was in the bathroom when the suspects forced their way into an apartment at 904 E North Bay St. about 8:30 p.m. Thursday and demanded money, according to Tampa police.

One of the suspects fired at Tyrone Speller, 35, of Tampa, who had stopped by his uncle's East Tampa apartment. The bullet passed through Speller and then the bathroom wall before it struck Huggins in the abdomen. Police said Huggins was the uncle's girlfriend.

Both Huggins and Speller were transported to Tampa General Hospital, where Huggins died shortly after arriving. Speller was expected to survive his injuries, police said.

Speller was previously the victim of a shooting in 2008.

According to police reports, Speller and two others were having a cookout one Saturday night when they were ambushed by two masked men. Speller heard the pump of a shotgun and shielded his face with his right hand. His wrist took most of the blast, but shotgun pellets struck his face also.

The department said it is investigating possible suspects in Thursday's incident and said the shooting does not appear to be a random act.

"If there are people out there who know something, we need to hear from them," said Andrea Davis, a police spokeswoman.

Crime Stoppers is offering up to a $3,000 reward for information.

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