Trooper Shot To Death; One Suspect Arrested, Another Sought
BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) _ A second man was taken into custody today in connection with the slaying of a Florida Highway Patrol trooper who was shot in the face with his own revolver during a traffic stop, police said.
A man identified as Samuel Larry Williams, 40, of Detroit, was picked up on foot in rural southeastern Hillsborough County, east of the Tampa-St. Petersburg area, and told deputies where to find the getaway car, said FHP Lt. Steve Vincent. He was taken back to Manatee County where the shooting occurred.
Daniel Burns, 41, was captured late Tuesday, about three hours after the slaying, in a swamp off Interstate 75 near the site of the shooting, Vincent said.
Burns was held without bail at Manatee County Jail today on charges of murdering Trooper Jeffrey D. Young, 28, a highway patrol officer for three years.
Passing motorists said Young was going through a small bag when Burns wrestled away the officer’s .357-caliber Magnum and shot him, Vincent said. Burns fled into the swamp, and another person in the stopped Cadillac drove off, he said.
Young was the 29th Florida Highway Patrol officer killed in the line of duty since the agency was formed in 1939, and the 15th who was shot to death.
About 200 law officers using helicopters and dogs, including sheriff’s deputies, city police and state fish and game wardens, had searched for the second suspect.
Maj. Charles Hall of the FHP’s Tallahassee office said Young recently was assigned to surveillance of drug trafficking on major highways.
Hall could not say for sure that drugs were involved in the traffic stop, ″but knowing his proficiency in that and what his responsibilities were, I certainly wouldn’t discount that.″
Vincent said the bag searched by the officer contained no drugs.
Young, who was married and had a daughter, was named officer of the month earlier this year for his 10-county FHP troop, Hall said.
″He was just a super trooper,″ said FHP secretary Chris Pease. ″It’s just a great loss. It’s hard to accept.″