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Tampa Man Charged with Murder After Allegedly Calling Neighbor to Car and Fatally Shooting Him


Witnesses say a Tampa man beckoned a neighbor to his car, produced a firearm from within it, and fatally shot him.

Authorities say Matthew and Susan Downey were standing outside of their home in Sun Bay South last weekend when Brian Joseph Baker signaled the couple to join him alongside his vehicle.

Investigators did not say what, if any, was said among the trio, but they allege that Baker retrieved a .40-caliber handgun from his car, leveled it at Matthew, and fired several rounds at him.

The investigative report continues by saying that Susan held the mortally-wounded Matthew as they awaited the arrival of first responders. However, according to the report, the 57-year-old Matthew expired at the scene before aid could be rendered.

Baker allegedly reported the incident to 9-1-1 himself. Arresting officers say he admitted to the shooting and pointed out the firearm he used as it lay within his vehicle. He made no further statements after officers advised him of his Miranda rights, according to the report.

Investigators have yet to reveal a motive for the alleged shooting, but Susan Downey says that she knows of no friction between the two men.

Baker was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail in the pre-dawn hours the next morning. The 57-year-old New York native is being held without bond on a single count of first-degree murder.

The Law Offices of Bjorn Brunvand have been representing people charged with capital murder, felony drug charges, drunk driving, government fraud, and white-collar crimes for over a quarter century. Contact our office today to discuss your Tampa Bay-area state or federal charges.

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  • Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

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