Shooter kills his wife, himself

The woman is found outside her New Tampa home. The man is found inside.

By BEN MONTGOMERY, Times Staff Writer
Published September 30, 2007

NEW TAMPA - A man shot his wife dead then turned the gun on himself about midnight Friday inside the couple's home in the Hunter's Green development, Tampa police said.

A neighbor found the body of Anna Marie Burgess, 48, near some landscaping in front of the house on Saturday morning and called authorities.

When officers arrived after 8 a.m., they noticed movement inside the beige stucco home at 17808 Hickory Moss Place, police spokeswoman Andrea Davis said.

A tactical response team sped to the scene and a hostage negotiator tried to contact whoever was inside.

After several futile attempts to reach someone inside, the tactical team went into the house through the front door. It found Roy Lee Burgess, 53, lying in the hallway, dead from a bullet wound, a gun near his hand, Davis said.

Police said they were unsure what caused the movement they saw inside the house but believe Burgess was long dead by the time they arrived.

Neighbors reported hearing gunshots around midnight, Davis said, but no one called police.

The couple had two teenage sons - ages 15 and 18, according to neighbors. Neither was home at the time of the shooting, police said.

Police did not suggest what motivated the man to kill his wife and himself. Neighbors described the couple as quiet and private. Records show Roy Burgess is a certified public accountant.

Davis said police have never been called to the house.

The shootings came a day after Tampa police Chief Steve Hogue told New Tampa Rotary Club members that the area was the safest in the city.

"New Tampa, crime-wise, is nowhere like the rest of the city," Hogue said Friday morning at a Rotary breakfast. "Two years without a murder."

Saturday, residents were shocked to hear about the violence in a gated development known for its peaceful parks and tranquil nature preserves, where the median household income is more than $110,000 a year, according to census data.

"This is such a sweet place on the surface, but I guess you never know what goes on behind closed doors," said Clare Gill, who has lived here several years. "It's a fantastic place to grow up, but you never know what can happen."

Staff writer Jared Leone contributed to this report. Ben Montgomery can be reached at bmontgomery@sptimes.com or 813-661-2443.