Bizarre Tampa crime spree has guns, carjacking, plus a stolen jacket and drink

7:46 AM, May 4, 2012   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- It's hard to imagine what was going on in the mind of a 21-year old man who police say went on a weird crime spree along Waters Avenue.

The strange string of events began at an address that's in front of the Belara Lakes Apartments on W. Waters Avenue near Armenia Ave.

Tampa Police say at around 6:30 Thursday evening, a 21-year old man pulled out a gun and started shooting at two people he didn't know. They managed to get out of the way of the gunfire and avoid being hit by the bullets.

At the same time, a husband was pulling up in his car to pick up his wife. Police say the wife got into the car -- and so did the bad guy. The gunman ordered the couple to drive and even fired a shot inside the car, police say.

Thinking quickly, the husband and wife ran from the car. That prompted the gunman to bolt from the car, as well.

Still armed, but with his gun hidden, police say he walked two blocks and into a gas station and convenience store called the Stop & Pick Food Center.

For a moment, the crime spree took a less violent turn. Police say the bad guy grabbed a drink in the store and tried to walk out without paying. The clerk confronted him.

That's when police say the man pulled his gun back out, prompting the store clerk to take off out the front door, while another store employee hid in an office.

Cracking open the cash register became the gunman's next project, and police say he beat the register with his gun then shot at it, but had no luck getting at the money inside.

At this point, police say the man went out front and started fighting with the store clerk. The crook managed to wrestle away the employee's jacket and then -- and the reasons for this aren't clear -- police say the gunman went back into the store.

Inside, he put on the clerk's jacket and a skullcap. The statement on the crime spree from Tampa Police doesn't elaborate on why he put on those clothes. If his goal was disguising himself, it didn't work.

When the man walked back out of the convenience store, police officers were waiting, guns drawn. Police say he was arrested without a fight, however while he was in the back of a police cruiser, he kicked out the glass of a rear side window.

He didn't get away, but he does owe the people of Tampa $750 for damaged city property.

Stunningly, despite the gunshots and thrown punches, police say no one involved got anything more than a few bumps and bruises.

The 21-year old is now at the Hillsborough County Jail, facing 13 different potential charges -- five misdemeanors and eight felonies.

Grayson Kamm, 10 News

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