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Altercation At Tampa Mosque Leads To Murder Charges


An argument on the steps of a Tampa house of worship turned violent, leading to a deadly shooting and second-degree murder charges against the man authorities say is responsible for the killing.

Hillsborough County authorities say a prayer service at a local mosque had just ended when two men, one 36 and the other 40, became involved in a physical altercation. Details are scarce, but police say the younger man saw the older man driving through the parking lot and stepped in front of his vehicle, leading to the confrontation.

According to filings in a related civil action, the duo had long been antagonistic to one another, with the latest and fatal encounter centered around the younger man's distaste with the older man's habit of driving through the parking lot at speeds he found to be unnecessarily high.

Authorities say the older man shoved the younger man, initiating the physical conflict. Then, while the younger man was on the ground, the older man allegedly produced a firearm and shot the younger man in the back.

After shooting the younger man, the older man placed a call to 9-1-1 and made statements to the effect that he had acted in self defense. Investigators say he made similar claims to them during the course of the investigation.

Meanwhile, an off-duty deputy who was working as security at the mosque detained the older man as first responders arrived. Of the two shots he allegedly fired, only one struck the younger man, but the wound proved to be fatal.

Hillsborough County deputies obtained a warrant for his arrest last week for second-degree felony murder, and he turned himself in the next day for charging. The man was released last Monday after posting a $250,000 bond.

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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