Father of 3 shot at point blank range

Deputies searching for suspected killer

Marcus Applewhite stood watching all the police activity, arms folded with a frown on his face.
He was supposed to meet his friend, Damian Bowie, and travel to Manatee County for a festival Sunday afternoon.  
Instead, Applewhite was observing Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputies photograph a small square of pavement in an apartment complex where Bowie was lying dead.
Bowie had been shot in the head at point blank range.
"He had three kids," said Applewhite.  "He had a fourth on the way."
Sheriff's investigators said Bowie, 23, walked up to a car parked in the Avesto del Rio Apartments at 6615 N. 50th St. shortly before 4 p.m. and began talking with the driver.  Deputies said there were at least two others in the vehicle.
"At some point, the passenger stepped out and started striking the victim with a handgun," said Sheriff's spokewoman Cristal Bermudez Nunez.  
Bowie began yelling at the attacker asking why he was doing that, according to witnesses.
"And then he pointed the gun at his head and just fired one shot," Nunez said.  Bowie died at the scene.
Following the execution style killing, the suspect returned to the car and it drove out of the apartment complex.
Deputies said several witnesses provided information about what happened.
Bowie's family hovered near the crime tape that surrounded the murder scene, often engaging in hugs and breaking into tears.
"Oh my God," Bowie's mother cried while being embraced by the victim's uncle.
Deputies said they are trying to see if the surveillance video in the complex will be helpful in identifying a suspect.
Bowie had been arrested 16 times in the past, including 29 felony charges.  But it was unclear whether his record had anything to do with his murder.
Investigators suspect Bowie knew the people he was speaking to, based on how the conversation started.
"It looked calm," said Nunez.  "We think that maybe they knew each other.  That this wasn't a random act."
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