Crimestoppers: Two young rappers gunned down in St. Pete studio

5:47 PM, Apr 15, 2011   |    comments
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Cabretti Wheeler and his mother Lisa Wheeler-Brown

St. Petersburg, Florida - The young men didn't have a chance. They were simply doing what they do best - making music.

Cabretti Wheeler and Kyle Elllis had magnetic personalities, some say, so magnetic that people were jealous.

The two men were gunned down September 6, 2008 in a St. Petersburg recording studio.

Detective Todd Greene from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office told 10 News, "It was planned, they didn't just go in there to shot and rob these people, they were going in there to kill these people."

Detectives describe it as a bloodbath.

The young men didn't even hear the killers storm into the building.  They ran inside so quickly, the rappers didn't have time to react.

Detective Greene went on to say, "These people were shot to kill then, not shot to stop them, these people were shot so they would be dead."

When asked Detective Greene would not confirm how many times the young men were shot.  He said, "I made a promise to the young man's mother that we wouldn't talk about that."

Detective Greene is a man of his word.

In a shocking twist, a third man took five bullets and was left to die in a pool of blood. Miraculously, he survived.

He then went underground for more than two years. He was terrified that the killer would find him and try to kill him again.

Detective Greene finally found the eyewitness and that man helped lead investigators to Jerry Tyrone Jones, who was indicted by a Grand Jury and arrested on April 7th.

As Detective Greene continues to investigate this case, he says he's found a very important ally behind the scenes, someone he couldn't live without as he looks into this case: that person is Cabretti's mother.

Lisa Wheeler-Brown told us, "Every day I wake up with what can I do now, what can I do today to make a difference."

Wheeler-Brown wakes up each and every day ready to help detectives find the other people involved in the case.

She says she's doing this to keep her son's memory alive. "He would want me to do this." 

She even put together a video talking about "snitches."   She wants to encourage people to do the right thing and come forward with any information on her son or Kyle Ellis.

Detective Greene speaks highly of her and says he couldn't solve this case without her help.

"She is a huge part of this case.  She calls me all the time with information.  We know people are out there who know something," said Detective Greene.

Wheeler-Brown added, "I just want to smile at them and say it's not over, you knew me, you called me mom, it's not over."

To visit the Crime Stoppers of Pinellas County website, click here.

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