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Motive unclear in teen's shooting


© St. Petersburg Times, published July 26, 2000

TAMPA -- Until police talk to the 16-year-old victim or extract answers from the man who they say shot her, detectives won't have a clear motive as to why John David Wilson tried to kill his stepdaughter, Tampa police spokesman Joe Durkin said Tuesday.

"Obviously, we're talking to several family members and learning more about their relationship,"Durkin said. Wyneaki Hart's mother "has had her hands full. She's staying at the hospital all the time now."

Wyneaki remains in guarded condition at Tampa General Hospital. "She's not out of the woods yet," Durkin said.

Police said Wyneaki suffered gunshot wounds to the head and shoulder Sunday night when Wilson, 33, walked into the McDonald's where she worked and fired at her with a semi-automatic handgun. Later, he shot himself in a failed suicide attempt. His injuries weren't life-threatening.

Wyneaki's mother, Thelberta Hart Wilson, had a stormy relationship with Wilson. While she was pregnant, Wilson was arrested for aggravated battery on a pregnant woman. In April 1999 and again in September 1999, Mrs. Wilson filed injunctions for protection from Wilson.

Sherry Frazier, a neighbor and friend of Thelberta Hart Wilson, said the entire family lived in fear of John Wilson's violent temper.

"He would do anything to hurt her," Frazier said.

In June, John Wilson was released from jail after serving time for domestic violence and aggravated stalking charges.

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