TAMPA - Dontae Morris, who is accused of killing two Tampa Police officers, turned himself in late Friday night.
Lieutenant Stephen Lee from the Tampa Police Department confirmed to ABC Action News that the 24-year-old gave himself up peacefully.
A private citizen helped initiate the surrender, officials said. Tampa Police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said the citizen, who was only identified as an associate of Morris, arranged for Morris to surrender to him.
Officials would not identify who the person was, but said he was not a family member or an attorney.
The associate then brought Morris to a pre-determined location, where police were waiting to take him into custody. McElroy said the associate is eligible to collect the $100,000 reward that was issued for information leading to Morris' arrest.
Morris has now been charged with three counts of 1st-degree murder, for the killings of the two officers, as well as the murder of Derek Anderson, who was shot to death outside the Kenneth Court Apartments on May 18th. Ballistics tests showed the gun that killed the two officers was the same gun used to kill Anderson, according to investigators
Morris is also charged with Possession of a Firearm. He is also a suspect in the June 8th death of 25-year-old Harold Wright, and a person of interest in an un-named homicide.
“Dontae Morris is under arrest,” Castor said at an 11:00 p.m. press conference.
This comes on the heels of the fallen officers’ wake, where many police officers felt the pressure to nab Morris Friday night.
“I pray that this brings a level of closure to the families of David Curtis and Jeffrey Kocab,” Castor said.
Castor said she stands by her initial statement that Morris is a cold-blooded killer and says he’s an anomaly that does not represent the Tampa Bay community.
Pam Iorio also spoke Friday night, expressing her relief for the families and the community at large.
“This is a very emotional evening,” Mayor Pam Iorio said.
“I just want to say thank you for the hard work that led to his arrest,” she said, referring of the joint efforts of multiple law enforcement agencies.
“I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Iorio also thanked the public and the Tampa Bay community, who contributed their efforts including over 400 tips to lead to Morris’ arrest.
“Tonight everyone can sleep easier, because Dontae Morris is off the streets.”
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