Police shoot suspect in aborted robbery
By Times Staff
Published September 28, 2005
TAMPA - A delivery driver was the first to confront three armed robbery men outside a Domino's Pizza early Tuesday, but police say the final confrontation came when an officer shot one of the men. Officer Billy Lamb is on paid leave pending an investigation into the shooting.
The incident began shortly after midnight, when delivery driver J.D. Pugh III called 911 to report three men putting on ski masks outside the Domino's at 5011 W Hillsborough Ave. He said they left in a green Isuzu Rodeo.
Lamb spotted the 1996 Isuzu on Dale Mabry Highway near Spruce Street.
Lamb and other officers in unmarked cars followed the Isuzu, Tampa police spokesman Joe Durkina said.
It turned into a driveway off Palmetto as the officers pulled up behind, according to a police report.
The Isuzu's driver, 19-year-old Justin Lawrence Bellware, got out of the car and pointed a gun at the officers, Durkin said.Officers ordered Bellware to drop his gun.
When Bellware did not put his gun down, Lamb fired his gun, an AR-15 rifle. The round hit the frame of the Isuzu's driver side door before striking Bellware in his left forearm, Durkin said.
Rodolfo Cosme-Hernandez ran from the scene, but officers caught him two blocks away, Durkin said. William Alberto Velasquez-Obrer, 17, was arrested as he sat inside the Isuzu.
Ex-Largo firefighter files claim against city
LARGO - Former Largo fire inspector Steven C. Strong has filed a claim for damages over comments city officials made about him in a Times article last month.
Strong's attorney, John H. Thompson IV, wrote a letter to the City Commission on Sept. 14, calling the comments tantamount to slander. He did not specify which comments.
Strong, 39, left Largo in 2000 on a disability pension that pays $1,481.81 a month.
After leaving Largo, Strong went on to work for fire departments in St. Petersburg and Dunedin. In April, he was hired as Clearwater's assistant fire marshal, where he makes $64,000 a year.