Dark day in Tampa police history remembered - WSPA.com

Dark day in Tampa police history remembered

Posted: Updated:
Hank Earl Carr Hank Earl Carr
TPD Chief Jane Castor remembers detectives Randy Bell and Ricky Childers TPD Chief Jane Castor remembers detectives Randy Bell and Ricky Childers
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Today started like any other for most in the Bay area.  However, some will remember that 15 years ago the lives of Tampa Police detectives Randy Bell and Rick Childers, Florida Highway trooper James Crooks and 4-year-old Joey Bennett were cut short.

The day began with the tragic shooting of Hank Earl Carr's girlfriend's 4-year-old son Joey Bennett.  Detectives Randy Bell and Ricky Childers took him in for questioning.  They handcuffed him with his hands in front of his body because at that point all they knew was he was a grieving loved one, not a murder suspect.

On the way to Tampa Police Department Headquarters, Carr, using a handcuff key he had around his neck, freed himself, got Childers gun and shot and killed both detectives.

From there Carr carjacked a pickup truck and fled north on I275.  He made his way into Pasco County where he shot and killed highway patrol trooper James Crooks.

Carr continued to head north and eventually stopped at a Shell gas station on State Road 50 in Hernando county, holding the attendant hostage.  He eventually released her unharmed.

Before his death, 970 WFLA radio reached him and put him on the on air.  Swat team members entered the convenience store a short time later and found him dead.

Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor was on duty that day and remembers it like it was yesterday.

"I was getting ready to get on the elevator here and the door opened and Capt. Bob Price was there and he told me Ricky and Randy were dead.  And you know, I was startled, I was like what do you mean?  He said someone just killed Ricky and Randy.  And so we all went out to the scene. and it was just horrific. "  said Castor.

She says the detectives that were gunned down were the best of the best, and they, the trooper and the little boy who were gunned down, should be the ones remembered.

Chief Castor smiles when she thinks about Bell and Childers.

Castor said, "Both of them were great individuals and they were a perfect team because they were opposite personalities.  Ricky was just out there and never met a stranger, and Randy was a little more reserved and more quiet and had that sense of humor, you know, when he said something it was just hilarious.  They were both wonderful individuals. "

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • TPD homicide detective under federal criminal investigation

    TPD homicide detective under federal criminal investigation

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 6:55 PM EDT2014-04-22 22:55:30 GMT
    Tampa Police Officer Eric Houston, who is working at a crime scene in this file photo, is under federal investigation.Tampa Police Officer Eric Houston, who is working at a crime scene in this file photo, is under federal investigation.
    The feds are investigating one of Tampa Police Department's lead homicide detectives. Officer Eric Houston, who is one of the lead detectives in the Julie Schenecker murder investigation, is under federal criminal investigation. 
    The feds are investigating one of Tampa Police Department's lead homicide detectives. Officer Eric Houston, who is one of the lead detectives in the Julie Schenecker murder investigation, is under federal criminal investigation. 
  • New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 4:01 AM EDT2014-04-22 08:01:42 GMT
    Soldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photoSoldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photo
     When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
    When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
  • Tampa homeowner says Duke Energy is a bully for taking her oak tree

    Tampa homeowner says Duke Energy is a bully for taking her oak tree

    Monday, April 21 2014 5:34 PM EDT2014-04-21 21:34:15 GMT
    Neda Dandache and her family love their backyard oasis, even though a gigantic Duke Energy transmission tower abuts their backyard. Oak trees block that view, for now, and give them shade.The trees have never been an issue, but now, Duke wants them gone. Dandache says Duke's forester told her they may cause a problem - seven years from now."
    Neda Dandache and her family love their backyard oasis, even though a gigantic Duke Energy transmission tower abuts their backyard. Oak trees block that view, for now, and give them shade.The trees have never been an issue, but now, Duke wants them gone. Dandache says Duke's forester told her they may cause a problem - seven years from now."
  • NewsMore>>

  • More powerful sonar likely next step in jet search

    More powerful sonar likely next step in jet search

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 5:14 AM EDT2014-04-23 09:14:33 GMT
    Australia's prime minister said Wednesday that failure to find any clue in the most likely crash site of the lost Malaysia Airlines jet would not spell the end of the search, as officials planned soon to bring...
    Australia's prime minister said Wednesday that failure to find any clue in the most likely crash site of the lost Malaysia Airlines jet would not spell the end of the search, as officials planned soon to bring in more...
  • TRAFFIC: Fatal crash on NB I-275 near Sligh Avenue

    TRAFFIC: Fatal crash on NB I-275 near Sligh Avenue

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 4:21 AM EDT2014-04-23 08:21:29 GMT
    The crash scene on NB I-275The crash scene on NB I-275
    Northbound Interstate 275 is shut down at East Sligh Avenue in Tampa Wednesday morning after a single car crash with a fatality, according to traffic officials.
    Northbound Interstate 275 is shut down at East Sligh Avenue in Tampa Wednesday morning after a single car crash with a fatality, according to traffic officials.
  • Michigan man among 1st in US to get 'bionic eye'

    Michigan man among 1st in US to get 'bionic eye'

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 3:54 AM EDT2014-04-23 07:54:07 GMT
    A degenerative eye disease slowly robbed Roger Pontz of his vision.
    A degenerative eye disease slowly robbed Roger Pontz of his vision.
  • Top StoriesTop StoriesMore>>

  • Williamston Shooting Sends Woman To Hospital

    Williamston Shooting Sends Woman To Hospital

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 3:39 AM EDT2014-04-23 07:39:02 GMT
    Williamston police officers are investigating a shooting after a woman was shot in the head on South Hamilton Street.Williamston police officers are investigating a shooting after a woman was shot in the head on South Hamilton Street.
    Williamston police officers are investigating a shooting after a woman was shot in the head on South Hamilton Street. Captain Kevin Marsee says it happened Tuesday night around 10:30 at the victim's home on South Hamilton Street in the city of Williamston.
    Williamston police officers are investigating a shooting after a woman was shot in the head on South Hamilton Street. Captain Kevin Marsee says it happened Tuesday night around 10:30 at the victim's home on South Hamilton Street in the city of Williamston.
  • Update: Governor Haley To Suspend Simpsonville Mayor Eichor

    Update: Governor Haley To Suspend Simpsonville Mayor Eichor

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 10:56 PM EDT2014-04-23 02:56:15 GMT
    Simpsonville Mayor Perry Eichor was arrested Tuesday. He faces charges of Intimidation of a Court Official, Misconduct in Office and Obstruction of Justice following a state investigation.
    Simpsonville Mayor Perry Eichor was arrested Tuesday. He faces charges of Intimidation of a Court Official, Misconduct in Office and Obstruction of Justice following a state investigation.
  • Duke: Moving Coal Ash Would Cost Up To $10 Billion

    Duke: Moving Coal Ash Would Cost Up To $10 Billion

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 8:58 PM EDT2014-04-23 00:58:27 GMT
    Duke Energy Says Customers Will Likely Foot The Bill To Cleanup Coal AshDuke Energy Says Customers Will Likely Foot The Bill To Cleanup Coal Ash
    Duke Energy says that removing all of the company's coal ash away from North Carolina's rivers and lakes would take decades and cost up to $10 billion, with the state's electricity customers likely footing nearly all the bill. Duke's North Carolina president Paul Newton told state lawmakers Tuesday the company needs flexibility to consider more cost-efficient options that include leaving much of its 100 million tons of toxic ash in place after being covered with giant tarps and soil.
    Duke Energy says that removing all of the company's coal ash away from North Carolina's rivers and lakes would take decades and cost up to $10 billion, with the state's electricity customers likely footing nearly all the bill. Duke's North Carolina president Paul Newton told state lawmakers Tuesday the company needs flexibility to consider more cost-efficient options that include leaving much of its 100 million tons of toxic ash in place after being covered with giant tarps and soil.
Powered by WorldNow

250 International Dr.
Spartanburg, S.C. 29303

Telephone: 864.576.7777
Fax: 864.587.5430
Email: webmaster@wspa.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.