Skip to comments.Two Tampa police officers shot, killed during traffic stop (known suspects on the run)
Posted on 06/29/2010 7:49:32 AM PDT by DCBryan1
TAMPA Two Tampa police officers were killed Tuesday after being shot during a traffic stop, police said.
A massive search for two suspects was launched as the city reeled from the second fatal police shooting in less than a year.
The shooting suspect, the passenger in the car, already was wanted on an outstanding warrant, police said.
Officers Jeffrey Kocab and David Curtis, both 31, were shot in the head at 50th Street and 23rd Avenue, said Mayor Pam Iorio after a news conference.
Kocab died at Tampa General Hospital. Curtis died several hours later, according to police.
Curtis' family has chosen to keep his body on life support so his organs can be harvested, police said.
Curtis pulled the car over at 2:15 a.m. because it did not have a visible tag, police said, and soon discovered that one of the occupants was wanted on an arrest warrant for a worthless check out of Jacksonville.
Kocab was called for backup before the shooting occurred, which police said is standard procedure when someone is found to be wanted.
Neighbors said they heard shots fired and heard the vehicle peel off. The shooting suspect had apparently run through an apartment complex at 3212 N 50th St., said Rose Dodson, 32, a resident there.
Police were combing that area side by side looking for evidence.
Another witness said she heard four or five gunshots. Chris Arline, 49, said she was buying a candy bar at a nearby Shell gas station when she heard the gunfire. Her son thought it was a truck.
"That's not a truck," she said. "That's bullets."
Arline left the store and saw paramedics giving CPR to a person on the ground.
The shooting happened so quickly the officers did not have a chance to radio for help. They were shot at close range, said Police Chief Jane Castor, and it did not appear they had time to return fire.
Curtis ran the driver's licenses of both suspects before the shooting, police said. Police were not sure if the licenses were authentic.
A 911 call six minutes after the car was stopped was the first notice police had that the officers had been shot, police said. A passerby stumbled on the scene and found the officers shot, police said.
Police were looking for a 1994 red Toyota Camry they said was involved in the shooting. The car was stopped at 50th Street and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The car pulled over at 50th Street and E 23rd Avenue.
Police said the car was driven by a woman and the male passenger fired the gunshots.
The passenger was described as a black man in his mid to late 20s, 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing 150 to 170 pounds. He had a short afro and was last seen wearing brown shorts and a white T-shirt and a black vest. No description of the woman was released.
Detectives issued an urgent plea for witnesses to step forward. They want to talk to anyone who was in the area of N 50th Street and E 23rd Avenue about 2:15 a.m.
Anyone with information is asked to call (813) 231-6130.
Dozens of police and Hillsborough sheriff's deputies were searching for the suspects.
They set up a perimeter that stretched from MLK to Interstate 4 and 40th to 50th streets. Traffic was blocked in both directions for hours. The northbound lanes were reopened by 7:30 a.m.
Several hours after the shooting, about 100 cadets from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office dressed in grey formed a line and searched the crime scene for evidence.
Castor said at a second news conference that the suspect's "best bet" is to give himself up.
"We'll take the search nationwide if we need to," Castor said. "We're going to find him."
Kocab leaves behind a wife who is nine months pregnant, Iorio said during a news conference at Tampa General Hospital. Kocab joined the Police Department about 14 months ago from the Plant City Police Department.
Curtis, the officer on life support, has a wife and four young children, Iorio said. A former Hillsborough County jail deputy, he became a Tampa police officer 2006.
Kocab's wife was in Kissimmee, and Curtis' family was in Sumter County.
Curtis has four children: Austin, 9; Sean, 6; Tyler, 5; and Hunter, 8 months.
"We are doing everything we can to help the wives and the family members," Iorio said. "It's just a very bleak day for us in Tampa."
After the news conference Iorio burst into tears when recounting the call she received at 3 a.m. from Police Chief Jane Castor.
"She said 'Mayor, I've got really bad news. We've had two officers shot and one is dead.'"
As soon as she saw it was the chief calling she knew it was bad news, Iorio said. She remembered getting a similar call from now-retired Chief Steve Hogue when Cpl. Mike Roberts was shot and killed last year.
Roberts was shot to death as he stopped to question a homeless man. Humberto Delgado has been charged with first degree murder in that August 2009 shooting.
Iorio said it is "heart-wrenching" to watch relatives and cousins grieve the deaths of Kocab and Curtis.
"It's just been overwhelming grief inside the hospital," she said.
RIP Officers Officers David Curtis, left, and Jeffrey Kocab, right;
BOLO: insets: Dontae Rashawn Morris, left, and Cortnee Nicole Brantly.
Dontae Rashawn Morris was recently released from prison and was on parole. He had an active warrant out for bad check writing.
I read and feel like my guts have been torn out.
Those poor families.
One officer has a 35 week pregnant wife.
The last time a guy killed a cop in this area the cops shot him 67 times when they finally found him.
When a national reporter asked the sheriff why they shot him 67 times, he replied, “We ran out of ammo.”
I hope there is a wanted dead or alive alert, with accent on dead, for these two. Why do we need to house them for years pending their death which should be something gruesome like boiling in oil, live on TV at 8PM.
Gee, maybe they can have a police escort for their funeral, like the cop killer in Dallas.
Yeah, I would have the lead “vehicles” be horses with loose bowels.
RIP to these Officers. I have a feeling justice will be swift.
Me thinks this yout's dad isn't a top BPOA union thug.
‘Two Tampa police officers were killed Tuesday after being shot’
Maybe I’m just being picky but isn’t it usually shot and killed?
Prayers for their souls and their families. Is Officer Curtis still on life support? This is SO sad.
Prayers for these Police Officers and their Families and Compatriots!
May God protect those that seek out the perps. May their pursuit be successful in doing the right thing!
I hope they blow both perps away....
This kind of tragedy, and they happen all the time, can be laid at the feet of the leaders and politicians who profit by whipping up racial resentment.
Exactly how Obama made his bones, BTW. No one is more guilty than he.
These animals need to be shot on sight, as does anyone who is helping them.
Wow. I just looked that up on Google. Unbelievable. Is that posted on FR somewhere? What could the Dallas PD have been thinking?
We can thank the likes of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton....
He is on life support so his organs can be donated.
Even in Death he SERVES his fellow man!
God Bless him!
My monitor just went blurry!
They should be held as accountable.