2 Tampa Police officers shot, both dead

4:29 AM, Jun 30, 2010   |    comments
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Update: Police may have located Tampa police shooting suspect's car

Tampa, Florida - Two Tampa Police officers were shot during a traffic stop near the corner of 50th Street and 34th Avenue early Tuesday morning. A search for the suspect is underway, according to the Tampa Police Department.

Officers Jeff Kocab and Dave Curtis died from their wounds.

Photo Gallery: Two Tampa Police officers shot and killed
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Police are looking for the gunman 24 year old Dontae Rashawn Morris.

Tampa Police say they're getting constant leads even throughout the night.

This was the scene just a few hours ago when SWAT teams geared up to check out what seemed like a pretty good lead.

The police platoon traveled only a few miles to a neighborhood near 40th street and Hillsborough Avenue.

There, they say, they interviewed a few more "persons of interest" but the tip did not net Morris, as far as we know.

Someone they did get a hold of, was the woman, police say, was driving the car when Morris shot those two officers.

Cortnee Brantley was tracked down at the Bristol Bay Apartment complex down the road from here yesterday afternoon.

Brantley was questioned but is not considered a suspect.

Overnight, she was released.

"You know we can't give out all of our tactical details but there's the possibility that she's going to be charged down the road and as I've said before she was able to provide us with some information. I wouldn't describe her as cooperative, but we were able to get some information out of her," said Chief Jane Castor of Tampa Police.

They do still believe Morris is in the Tampa area but there are state and federal agencies on standby in case morris crosses state lines.

Here are details of Dontae Morris' prison history, according to records from the Florida Department of Corrections:

- He was charged as an adult for dealing cocaine at 17.
- In 2004, he served time in state prison for that and another cocaine charge; he was in prison on his 19th birthday.
- In 2008, he was back in prison at age 22 on two more cocaine charges.
- He finished that 2008 sentence less than three months ago.

Morris is a black male. He's described as being in his mid- to late-20s with a one-inch Afro and was wearing a black vest and white sneakers.

Morris doesn't have a known address however he was wanted on a bad check warrant out of Jacksonville.

Around 2:15 a.m. Tuesday morning, one of the officers attempted to make a traffic stop after noticing a red Toyota Camry that didn't have visible tags. 

The officer attempted the stop near the intersection of 50th Street and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.  The Camry didn't stop until the corner of 50th Street and 23rd Avenue, according to police.

The officer got identification from someone inside the car and learned that person had a misdemeanor warrant out for their arrest.

At that point, the officer called for backup, and a second officer arrived on scene in a different cruiser.

Six minutes later, a citizen called 911 to say two officers had been shot.

Dozens and dozens of officers searched the area looking for the two suspects.  The Tampa Police Department is getting help from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office as well as several other agencies across the Tampa Bay area.

'There were six minutes between the traffic stop and when someone called 911, so we're asking anyone and everyone who may have been in this area to call us.  They may have seen something,' said Tampa Police spokesperson Andrea Davis. 

The suspect is described as "very dangerous."

McElroy added the news of two officers shot is especially tough because it comes less than a year after the Tampa Police Department lost Cpl. Mike Roberts

The father and husband was killed while investigating a suspicious person in the Sulphur Springs area of Tampa in August of 2009.

Condolences: Leave your message for the fallen officers' families here

Janie Porter, 10 Connects

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