tampabay.com

Girl, 16, killed in Brandon shooting

By ABBIE VANSICKLE
Published September 14, 2006


TAMPA - Someone fatally shot a Brandon teenager and wounded two of her friends at the Sterling Palms Apartments, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said.

Deputies are trying to figure the who and the why of the killing.

It was 12:40 a.m. Wednesday, when Toni Marie Waltz, 18, and Leroy James Doane IV, 17, and a third 18-year-old man went to the apartment complex just west of Providence Road to pick up Christina Marie Veltri, 16, deputies said.

The teens told deputies they were preparing to head out on a trip to Sarasota. As they walked in the parking lot, a man came up to them and asked to borrow a cell phone, the teens told deputies.

They refused and got into a car to drive away, when the man opened fire on the car, the teens told deputies. Bullets struck Veltri, Waltz and Doane, and the teens drove to a Hess gas station on Providence Road, where they called 911.

Veltri was taken to Brandon Regional Hospital, where she died at 1:28 p.m., deputies said.

Waltz, and Doane, both of Apollo Beach, were taken to Tampa General Hospital with injuries that weren't life-threatening. A hospital spokeswoman said both were released Wednesday.

A woman who answered the phone at Veltri's apartment declined to speak with a reporter. Veltri was not registered as a student in Hillsborough schools, according to a schools spokesman.

Waltz's brother, Charles Waltz, 21, said the family was stunned by the shooting.

"I don't know, I still kind of can't believe it," he said.

He said he didn't know the teens had planned to go to Sarasota. Waltz, who lives with his parents and sister in Apollo Beach, said he had not talked with his sister since the shooting, he said.

By Wednesday evening, no arrest had been made in the case.

The shooter is described as 6-foot black man, age 18 to 23, weighing 190 to 200 pounds with close-cropped hair. He was last seen wearing a white shirt with aqua-blue horizontal stripes.

Deputies believe he drives a silver or gold four-door 1996 Nissan Maxima with tinted windows and a rear spoiler.

Researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Abbie VanSickle can be reached at 226-3373 or vansickle@sptimes.com.