State Attorney's Office clears Tampa officers in three separate shootings
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TAMPA — The Hillsborough State Attorney's Office has cleared three Tampa police officers who opened fire on suspects in separate shootings, one of them...

Officers in each case were in imminent fear for their safety or the safety of the public and so were legally justified in firing their service weapons, Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren's office said in a news release Friday.

The first case unfolded on July 4 and resulted in the death of 40-year-old John Reuben Turbe, Jr. Warren's office withheld the officer's name, citing Marsy's Law, an amendment to Florida's constitution designed to protect crime victims. Tampa police previously identified him as Bryan Velazquez.

Velazquez responded about 10 p.m. after an employee at the Texaco station on the 3700 block of N 50th St. called 911 to report that a man with a gun, later identified as Turbe, entered the store, then walked outside, approached three people and fired one time, according to the release. The man then fired two more shots into the air.

When Velazquez spotted Turbe, he turned toward the officer and pulled a pistol from his waist area, according to the release. Velazquez ordered him to put down the gun. Instead, Turbe ran into a nearby neighborhood. Velazquez pursued him and ordered him several times to put down the gun and warned him, "you're gonna get shot," the release states.

Turbe stopped, turned around, took five steps toward the Velazquez and pointed the gun at the him, the release states. Velazquez fired four shots, hitting Turbe multiple times. An autopsy found he died from gunshot wounds to the head and torso.

The shooting was captured by Velazquez's body…
Tony Marrero, Tampa Bay Times
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