Hillsborough County deputies, Tampa police officers cleared in rape suspect's death

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. - The seven Hillsborough County deputies and Tampa police officers involved in the shooting death of a rape suspect on September 6 were justified in their use of deadly force, according to the State Attorney's Office.

Investigators say Christopher Bates went on a violent crime spree in the USF area. He was shot and killed after crashing during a high speed chase.

He allegedly raped four women and held a large group of people hostage at gunpoint. Bates was 24-years old and had just finished a court ordered drug treatment program after an arrest earlier this year for marijuana possession.

He was also arrested in 2009 for domestic violence, but the charge was dropped. He was arrested seven months ago for carrying a concealed weapon, but that charge was also dropped because the gun was in the trunk of his car, which prosecutors said did not meet the definition of "concealed weapon".

Bates' stepfather, Garfield Williams, said Bates was recently depressed and had attempted suicide before. He believes he ran from police in order to commit "suicide by cop".

"I don't think they had to shoot as many times as they did," Williams said.

Bates' stepfather says he doesn't know what to believe about the allegations his stepson raped four women.

"If he did it, he did it to lead up to what happened," Williams said.


The medical examiner released a 17 page autopsy report that ruled the cause of death to be a gunshot wound to the head.

Bates was wounded more than 20 times, the report states.

The autopsy also showed Bates had methylone in his system.  Methylone is an illegal street drug that is used to make bath salts.

Risperidone was also found in Bates's system.  Risperidone is listed as an atypical antipsychotic drug which is mainly used to treat schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, the mixed and manic states associated with bipolar disorder and irritability in people with autism.

Print this article Back to Top