NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. - The search continues in the New Port Richey area for a man who police say shot his sister in the leg and kept SWAT teams at bay before slipping away on Monday.
With guns drawn Pasco County SWAT team members surrounded a New Port Richey duplex and the neighboring apartment building. They were searching for 22-year-old Elijah Jamar Booze.
Investigators say he shot his sister in the leg during a dispute. She is identified by family members as 21-year-old Brittany Small.
Small went to the hospital but left her three kids behind.
When police arrived, a 3-year-old and 18-month old child were able to get out, but a 7-month old baby was still inside and authorities didn't know if the gunman was there too.
After more than 3 hours, the SWAT team finally broke through the front door. It turned out Booze was gone, and the tiny baby was brought to safety.
The children's grandmother, Diedra Menard, is thankful they are all ok. "Right now they are in custody with child protective services until further notice."
But what could cause a family dispute to turn so violent? Booze's father, Jonell Small says it was over living arrangements.
Diedra Menard said, "I think they were getting ready to move, she was telling him he was going to have to move out, and they got into it about that."
Small says his son is going to turn himself in. He is wanted for aggravated battery in this case, and a previous charge of sexual battery. "I was just hoping that he didn't get hurt. Because he ain't violent or nothing. Things happen."
One man was arrested. He was in a nearby apartment and was reluctant to give police any information, it turned out he had a warrant unrelated to this situation.
Nearby Gulf Middle School was placed on lockdown as a precautionduring the standoff, and Sheriff's deputies were there when school let out.
As for Brittany Small, family members say she was shot in the knee and will have surgery.
Police continue to search for Booze.
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