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Police find man fatally shot in yard near I-4 and Nebraska

KEVIN GRAHAM
Published November 6, 2003

TAMPA - Neighbors of a house on an alley off Nebraska Avenue say they heard three shots Wednesday night. Police arrived to find a 43-year-old man dead in the back yard.

The shooting occurred at a two-story house at 914 E 14th Ave., where Nebraska Avenue crosses under Interstate 4.

Detective John F. Preyer said apparently a fight had broken out. Late Wednesday, Tampa police were still trying to notify the victim's relatives and did not release his identity.

"We still don't know who this guy is," Preyer said. "All we have is a couple of nicknames."

Sidney Alexander, 50, of Tampa, said he drove up next door about 8:30 p.m. to visit a friend, and as he arrived he heard three shots.

"(The shots) were kind of like simultaneous," Alexander said. "I sat there for a minute to see if something else was coming. I didn't want to get in the midst of anything."

After waiting in his car for about a minute, Alexander said, he walked to up to his friend's door.

"I didn't see no moving or nothing," Alexander said. "I thought it might have been fire crackers."

Alexander said he knew something had gone wrong when Tampa police arrived.

About a dozen people in the neighborhood came out to see what was going on.

Carol Wilson, 48, lives three doors down from the shooting. She said she's lived in the neighborhood for more than 30 years, and Wednesday night was the first time she recalled a shooting near her home.

"It's a neighborhood just like any other neighborhood with its ups and downs," Wilson said.

At least six recycling bins filled with brown beer bottles lined the street in front of the house where the shooting occurred.

"They drink a lot of beer and they get a little rowdy," Wilson said.

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