Suspect arrested in Valrico shooting

8:32 PM, Sep 28, 2010   |    comments
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  • Trevor Dooley

Valrico, Florida --  Neighbor Trevor Dooley, 69, has been arrested in the shooting of David James. Neighbors tell us he is known for complaining about kids riding their skateboards on the basketball court across from his house.

Dooley was arrested at his Valrico home at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon on the following charges:

  • One count of Manslaughter
  • One count of Improper Exhibition of a firearm
  • One count of openly carrying a Firearm

"I think most of the neighbors knew that there was potential for him to create a little bit of discomfort when kids were down there," said Scallon.

The Hillsborough County School District confirms Dooley is a school bus driver and drove his route on Monday.  He called in sick today.

Linda Cobbe, with the district tells 10 News Dooley has been a busdriver for two years and has had a clean record to date. He had since been placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of the investigation.

While the man was known for his complaints, no one ever thought it would escalate to the loss of a life.

Tuesday, a makeshift memorial that marks the spot where a father was shot and killed in front of his eight year old daughter continues to grow as neighbors bring more flowers, notes and candles to pay their respects to the man.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's detectives say 41-year-old David James was playing basketball with his daughter Sunday evening at the Twin Lakes neighborhood basketball courts when a man who lives across the street approached them to complain about two other kids riding their skateboards on the courts.

Earlier Story: Father shot and killed in front of daughter

Deputies on scene of the shooting told 10 News on Sunday night, that the man pulled out a gun when he and James got into an argument.

"The individual [James], who was basically protecting the skateboarders, they became entangled in a tussle over this weapon and the individual was shot," said Sergeant George Mosher, with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Still, what exactly led up to the shooting isn't quite clear.

Earlier, detectives said they are getting multiple different versions of what happened and at this point, are still trying to piece together the moments that led up to the shooting.

Photo Gallery: Community remembers David James

"I just can't believe that. That's just for me, as a neighbor, scary," said Sherry Scallon when she heard the man who brought out the gun had not been charged.

"Just the fact that someone's life was taken, I just don't understand how he can be released," she added.

Those who know James tell 10 News he was likely trying to protect his daughter Danielle and the other kids on the court when the man brought out the gun.

"He would never let anyone mess with another child, no matter if it was his child or somebody else's.  He wouldn't stand for that," said James' 17-year-old step-son, Garrett James.

"Danielle is just a little kid.  I don't think she understands what happened," said Carolyn Mourey, a neighbor and family friend speaking on behalf of James' wife, Kinan.

A man and woman walking out of the home neighbors say belongs to the shooter refused to answer our questions and drove away from the home without saying a word.

"They're just trying to figure things out.  They're trying to figure out what went wrong and why it happened," Mourey said of the James family.

David James, known as DJ by his friends and neighbors, was known as a family man.

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His Facebook page shows a smiling father and daughter on a recent trip up north.

His last post is dated about two hours before he was killed.  He wrote about an upcoming trip to Biketober Fest in Daytona.
"Motor home is ready, camping is reserved, now the time needs to hurry up."

The Sheriff's Office and the State Attorney's Office continue to investigate the circumstances leading up to the shooting.

Laura Kadechka, 10 News

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