Shooting leaves one dead in Tarpon Springs, suspect in custody

Posted at 12:52 PM, Aug 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-28 12:02:09-04

UPDATE: A suspect wanted in a homicide at Sunbay Motel in Tarpon Springs was arrested overnight, officials said.

Fredrick Alvin Bentley, who turned 39 on Friday, was arrested in the 1000 block of Magnolia Drive in Clearwater, Tarpon Springs police said. Bentley was spotted walking down the street just before he was taken into custody without incident.

Members of the Clearwater police patrol division, intelligence unit, undercover detectives and SWAT team assisted the Tarpon Springs Police Department in making the arrest.

Bentley and the victim, Tarenzo Ladarius Smith,  27, both lived at the motel on West Tarpon Avenue. Police said the men argued early Saturday. Bentley grabbed a gun and shot Smith at close range.

Bentley fled the scene before the officers arrived. A search warrant was obtained and served to search Bentley's motel room. A weapon was found and confiscated as evidence. 

Original Story | Shooting leaves one dead in Tarpon Springs

TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. - A manhunt is under way for a suspect in fatal shooting in Tarpon Springs early Saturday.

Tarpon Springs police detectives are investigating a homicide that occurred at Sunbay Motel at 57 W. Tarpon Ave. in Tarpon Springs before dawn Saturday.

Officers responded to the motel shortly after 4:30 a.m. Saturday in reference to a call about a shooting. When officers arrived, a victim was found lying in the parking lot. He was pronounced dead by Tarpon Springs Fire Rescue emergency personnel.

The victim was identified as Tarenzo Ladarius Smith, 27. who had been living at the motel.

Through the investigation, police identified Fredrick Alvin Bentley, 39. Police said Bentley also had been staying at the motel and was an acquaintance of Smith.

The men had an argument, the release states. Bentley apparently grabbed a handgun, approached Bentley and shot him at close range.   

"My understanding he owed the guy ten dollars," said Whitney Flukes, referring to her cousin, Smith. Bentley "came for his money, and he didn't have it, so he shot and killed him."

According to authorities, the suspect left the scene on foot before the officers arrived. A canine unit search the area, but did not find Bentley.