1 dead, 2 injured in shooting, carjacking, in Town ‘N Country

February 16th, 2010 by

www.wtsp.com We are learning more about the victim Alyssa Aracich, 19 killed in the shooting spree from overnight. Aracich’s aunt says she was a sassy girl loved chocolate, animals and always wore black and red.

The other two victims injured in the shooting are still in critical condition at a local hospital.

We will have all the latest information on this event including more about the suspect at 6pm tonight.

Update: Andre Watkins, 53, screamed like a baby in front of cameras as Hillsborough County deputies booked him into the jail early Saturday morning.

Deputies arrested the suspected killer at a Plant City gas station near I-4 around 1:00am.

Chief Jose Docobo tells 10 Connects deputies had Watkins under surveillance after spotting him driving through Plant City. When Watkins pulled over to gas up the gold Chevy Malibu at Forbes Road and I-4, deputies surrounded him.

Watkins was taken into custody without incident. Chief Docobo said Watkins did not have a weapon on him at the time.

Watkins is being booked into the Orient Road Jail on a slew of charges including First Degree Murder.


Tampa, Florida — A teen was shot dead and two other people are in critical condition after a series of shootings and carjackings in the Town ‘N Country area, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff David Gee said an all out manhunt is underway for their prime suspect: Andre Watkins, 53, of Tampa. Gee said Watkins has been in telephone contact with deputies and has made threatening statements against law enforcement. Gee said he should be considered armed and very dangerous.

Watkins is driving a gold Chevy Malibu with the Florida tag of 830 XTI.

Gee told a news briefing after 11 p.m Friday that Watkins would be charged with First Degree Murder, 3 Counts of Attempted First Degree Murder, Armed Carjacking and Armed Kidnapping.

The shooting spree started around 6:30pm, when Gee said, Watkins carjacked a pickup truck at a convenience store on Linebaugh at Plantation Boulevard. Gee said, Watkins then forced the driver of the truck to take him to the neighborhood of Chadbourne Drive less than a mile away.

Deputies say, Watkins shot at a car full of teenagers at 10536 Chadbourne Drive. There were other young people in the car at the time of the shooting but they managed to run from the car. They were not injured, Gee said.

A few minutes later, deputies say there was an armed carjacking in the area of Webb and Jackson Springs.

From there, Gee said, Watkins drove to his mother’s house at 10806 Wingate Road where he changed cars into a gold-colored Chevy Malibu with plate #803 XTI.

He then drove the Malibu, according to deputies, to Brightside Drive just before 7 p.m., where he knocked on the door of home there and when the homeowner answered, Watkins allegedly shot him. That homeowner is listed in critical condition.

Then, Gee said, Watkins went to the BP gas station at Anderson and West Linebaugh and shot the clerk, who is also in critical condition.

Gee said, Watkins’ last stop, that they know of, was 8583 Briar Grove. There, he says Watkins shot at someone in the yard of a home but the person was not hit.

Watkins has an extensive criminal history, with arrests going back to 1996 in Hillsborough County. Charges ranged from Aggravated Assault with a firearm to Grand Theft Motor Vehicle.

Armed with automatic assault rifles, deputies have blocked off at least five different areas of Town N’ Country. Deputies say they are doing everything they can to apprehend Watkins with dozens of units on the ground as well as choppers in the sky.

“Our biggest concern is to find Watkins before we have more shooting victims,” said Gee.

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