Two Tampa police officers killed

June 29th, 2010 by Staff

If you have any information in reference to the murder of two Tampa Police Officers on June 29th, please call the Crimestoppers hotline (813)231-6130.

There is a massive search ongoing for two suspects, a man and a woman. The woman is believed to have been the driver and the male the passenger, who police say was the shooter. Detectives say they are looking for a black male and female; the man is described as about 5 feet 10 inches tall, wearing brown shorts, a white tee shirt, black vest and white shoes.

The vehicle is believed to be a 1994 maroon or red Toyota Camry. The license plate is 510 YCM. One officer stopped the car because the license tags were not visible and called the second officer for backup.

Chief Castor: “Our hearts are broken”

MyFoxTampaBay.com staff report

TAMPA - Two Tampa police officers have died after they were shot during a routine traffic stop early Tuesday morning.

The shooting happened at 50th Street and 34th Avenue at 2:15 a.m. Tuesday. Police have named two persons of interest in the case as they conduct a massive search in the area of the shooting.

Police Chief Jane Castor announced in a morning news conference that Officer Jeff Kocab, 31, had passed away, shortly after he was brought to Tampa General Hospital.

FOX 13 has learned that Officer Dave Curtis, also 31, was put on life support and pronounced dead around 8:30 a.m. at TGH.

Mayor Pam Iorio said Officer Jeff Kocab leaves behind a wife who is nine months pregnant. Officer Kocab had only been with Tampa police for 14 months and previously worked for the Plant City Police Department.

Officer Dave Curtis had been with the department for almost four years. Tampa police say he previously worked as a detention deputy with the Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office. He has a wife and four boys between the ages of 8 months and 9 years old, the mayor said.

Police told FOX 13 that Curtis’ family will be donating his organs.

Chief Castor and Mayor Iorio were very emotional during their brief news conference, held outside TGH just before 6:30 a.m.

“It’s a very tragic time for the Tampa Police Department family,” the Chief said. ” … We appreciate everyone’s prayers and concerns at this time.”

The officers’ families were at the hospital along with numerous members of the Tampa Police Department.

“It’s just a tragedy, there’s no other way to describe it,” Chief Castor added. “Our hearts are broken.”

Mayor Iorio echoed her sentiments and said the families of the fallen officers were very brave.

“They have both said to me how much Dave and Jeff loved being a Tampa police officer,” Iorio said. “They both have made a point of that. They both have said, both families, that their loved one loved going to work every day, that they loved being a Tampa police officer, that it was the best job in the world.”

Police received a 911 call shortly after 2:15 a.m. from a person driving by the scene, reporting that the officers were shot, Tampa police spokesperson Laura McElroy said.

Police responding to the 911 call immediately began CPR. Officer Kocab was pronounced dead shortly after he arrived at TGH, according to McElroy.

Several people stopped and left flowers Tuesday morning at the TPD memorial in downtown Tampa.

“To have two Tampa police officer shot, less than a year after losing Corporal Mike Roberts, is absolutely devastating to our department,” McElroy said earlier Tuesday. “We are still grieving the loss of Mike, and to now be at a scene with two Tampa police officers shot, it’s really beyond description and all of our energy, all of our resources, all of our efforts right now are to catch these two individuals who have attempted to take the life of two Tampa police officers.”

Cpl. Mike Roberts was shot and killed last August when he approached a suspicious man pushing a shopping cart, which turned out to be holding several weapons.

Tuesday’s shooting comes less than a week after two Polk County deputies were shot and injured while questioning a suspect in a Lakeland neighborhood. The suspect, 21-year-old Matthew Tutt, shot at the deputies and was killed by their return fire. Both deputies are recovering from their injuries.

There is a massive search ongoing for two suspects , a man and a woman. Hillsborough deputies are aiding police, as helicopters, K-9 units, and foot crews are in use. The Chief says they believe they know who the male suspect is but have not released a name.

The woman is believed to have been the driver and the male the passenger, who police say was the shooter. Detectives say they are looking for a black male and female; the man is described as about 5 feet 10 inches tall, wearing brown shorts, a white tee shirt, black vest and white shoes.

The vehicle is believed to be a 1994 maroon or red Toyota Camry. Officer Curtis stopped the car and called the Officer Kocab for backup. During her news conference, the chief said there appeared to be a minor warrant out for the passenger in the vehicle.

A citizen nearby heard the gunshots and called 911 to report that the two officers were down.

Police have shut down 50th Street from I-4 to Martin Luther King Blvd. Drivers are advised to avoid this area; the northbound lanes of 50th Street were reopened shortly before 7:30 a.m. but the area will likely be congested for much of the morning.

Anyone who may have been in the area at the time of the shooting or knows where the suspects may be is asked to call Tampa police at (813) 231-6130 or the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

Attorney General Bill McCollum released a statement Tuesday morning, saying his “thoughts and prayers are with the families of Tampa Police Officers Jeff Kocab and Dave Curtis and the entire Tampa


21 Responses

  1. Jeannine

    Website of bay new 9 reports that MJ reported this story first at 6am.
    Love the Bubba Army!!!!!!!!

  2. tampafan

    Where did the suspects name come from? No other news outlet has this. Sad this person was on the streets.

  3. lance

    Stupid booblees. Round them up and send them back to Africa. That’s why we have white trash cause the jigs have rubbed off on them.

  4. Kevin

    Lance = Idiot.

    How about a little respect for the fallen officers rather than your racist comments.

  5. RedSox2010

    I bet this copkiller was let off so manytimes because he was an informent for HCSO!!!

  6. Smoke911

    RIP for the 2 young officers.

  7. Davey

    Maybe the Prosecuting Attorney was getting kick backs from the drug dealer. Wonder how many jet skis he has bought for him?

  8. john basile

    Rip fallen brother officers bless you and your famillies.
    Lets hope the cops lite this scumbag up **** him !

  9. Miss Jacobs

    Heard the news today..live in Dayton,OH. It sent chills down my spine. Love and prayers go out to the families and friends of these young heroes.

  10. Rick Stroud

    I am saddened at the death of theses brave officers but I am also angry. I am angry because there is absolutely no reason for these two officers to be dead other than “they left their training” in the squad car. I am not saying this to be malicious, I am hoping this will be published to insure this doesn’t happen again. It will though and it will continue to happen as long as officers take their vests and throw them in the trunk of the squad. yes the vest is hot. Yes the vest is hard to run in. Yes the vest is uncomfortable while sitting in the car. SO WHAT!!!! 5 children will grow up calling a strnger daddy because the vest was a pain in the butt. #2. Once the stop was made and the bolo came back on Dante’(spelling) the stop should have (by training standards)become a “Felony Traffic Stop” at which time there is a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) that gives the officers a play by play step by step instruction on how to do their jobs so the arresting officer and his/her partner go home at the end of the shift.
    TPD would NEVER teach two officers approach a vehicle at 2am with a known felon in the car wearing NO VEST. The felony stop begins with the two officers taking up a defensive position behind the car with weapons drawn. The perps are taken out of the driverside of the vehicle using voice commands and they wind up spread eagle on the road without ever facing the officers. Had these two officers done their job by the book they would be getting ready for their next shift and we wouldn’t be crying for their widowed wife and children. Am I mad? Hell yes I am mad!!!! I am mad at them, I am mad at the system, I am mad at these two little gangsters that should have been home in bed at 2 am instead of conducting drug activities and driving around in a illegal car and shooting two of our up standing citizens and police officers. Pastor Rick- former law enforcement officer.

  11. Margaret

    It is soooo important as citizens to learn why these two officers were shot approaching the car and then funnel our shock and outrage to work for funding in the right place within our law enforcement agencies.

  12. lisa

    I tried to contact “Show Staff,” but can’t get a hot link. I am a huge fan of the show and listen between 7 and 7:45ish. I heard the show this morning because I am taking a class, but, because I am a teacher,I hope that I won’t be awake early enough to hear you for the rest of the summer. SO, please post how I can send a donation for these widos, via your faoundatin,on your site. I am just heartbroken by this whole situation. Keep being you!

  13. Tim S from calif

    This is tragic I have a 7 yr old and to think of her growing up without a father kills me . I dont have much but I would like to help with a donation for the families, e mail me where to send donation, luv ya in a non faggot way..

  14. Michael Raftice

    It is just sad that the rights that our forefathers fought so hard to give us have evolved into our present day court system. I am sure that they never intended for those freedoms to be used to keep pieces of crap like this continually returning to the streets to cause more damage to society. It is time to bring common sense back into our courts and summarily execute those who are not willing or able to be rehabilitated. Then maybe those of us who do cherish these freedoms would be more able to enjoy them. I hope they shoot him and he dies slowly and painfully.

  15. YourMom

    F@CK THAT PIECE OF ****! DEAD MAN WALKING!
    Stupid ****s out there that is still thinking about
    continuing to rob & mob people should be Leary of being such
    “cowboy’s” when More & more people are carrying guns everyday. I’m not afraid to pull on a Bitch! Walther,Beretta, Remington, which one do you want BITCH!

  16. CJ

    hey pastor rick, what if the SOP for the gangster was to aim for the head, ya jackass. upper body includes the head. and to the best of my knowledge, the vest doesn’t cover the head.

  17. Dawn

    I know that the car was pulled over for a routine traffic violation,but have they found the car?I mean this girl and a**hole had to have left some clue of where they may have came from or where they are going.That’s strange for a drug addict not to be a little messy.Yes,okay if they are on meth. they will be periniod as hell,trust me,I lived with someone on it until I realized it then that was it,but they will screw up.This guy,he keeps getting caught,so I’m sure he’ll get caught again,they just need to make sure him and his little girlfriend don’t get away this time.This is why I would love to get into either criminal investigating or maybe the bail bonding.That’s where they need to look.Who has been bonding this idiot out?Same bondsman or different ones?It can’t hurt to check,right?That is the criminals best friend.

  18. eric

    Bubba i hope that they don’t waste court time or tax payers money on this guy. i don’t have much hatred in me but i hope he gets shot not the way he shot at those police officers cause i think it only right that he suffers

  19. CJ

    Dawn, you little meely mouth f, if you want to make comments, read the fing facts, i got it right yesterday with pastor rick, vests would have done no good (and frankly they probably had them on) point blank head shots. now for Dawn, they found the girl, and the car, stupid ass, questions the girl, courtnee brantly, for 7 hours, and released her. i think you better put your criminal investigation careers days on hold for…well forever ya dumb bitch.

  20. shawn

    FYI: Donations can be made by visiting btlsfoundation.org

    I noticed a lot of ppl were asking. RIP fallen heroes and my heart goes out to widows and children.

  21. Brandon Cali.

    First of all CJ is money. my father is a stanislaus county sheriff and all of the ride-a-longs that ive been on, if a suspect comes back dirty, when and only when back up arrives they are commanded by voice through the cars PA to exit the vehicle and spread eagle all while their hands are in the air. even if it is a routine traffic stop and your fumbling around in your car your asked to keep your hands on the steering wheel or dash. Im not criticizing the officers judgment but it sucks to now have to say, what if they would have followed this procedure? without even knowing these 2 men It brought tears to my eyes listening to bubbas play by play. I wondered how id feel if my dad was gunned down in the line of duty, and it tore me up. Id wanna kill that son of a bitch myself. I hope they find this daunte Morris jackass and turn him into Swiss cheese. RIP to the fallen officers and thank you to the LEOs that protect our asses daily

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