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Two injured in drive-by shooting


© St. Petersburg Times, published December 3, 2000

PLANT CITY -- Police were searching for a suspect in a drive-by shooting Saturday that sent a 27-year-old man and a 70-year-old woman to local hospitals.

Plant City police were looking late Saturday for Chaddrick Thomas, 23, who they said shot Bobbie McCawthan, 27, and Elizabeth Ward, 70, a bystander.

McCawthan and Ward, both Plant City residents, were in stable condition. McCawthan, shot in the right arm and right side, was flown to Tampa General Hospital. Ward, shot in the buttocks as she stood on her front porch, was taken by ambulance to Lakeland Regional Hospital.

The shootings occurred shortly before noon. Lynette Dexter said she saw a car slowly approach McCawthan, who was at the corner of East Warren Street and South Maryland Avenue. She went inside and heard gunfire.

"It was over quick," she said. "Four quick shots."

The incident shook up a neat neighborhood of small homes where groups of children whooped and played while police examined the scene behind streams of yellow police tape.

Bullet holes could be seen in a windowpane of the house nearest to the shooting scene. A mother and two infants were in the room watching television, Dexter said.

Dexter said the victim and the suspect had fought Friday night in a bar.

"He (the suspect) was saying it's not over yet," she said. "And the other guy was telling him the same thing."

Connie Dasher, who said her cousin is dating the victim, said her family took the bleeding man inside after he begged not to be left outside.

Drug sales are common in the neighborhood, Dexter said.

"That corner's bad," she said.

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