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Musician leaving orchestra practice shot and killed in front of Pinellas Park City Hall

Posted at 6:08 PM, Feb 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-14 06:58:08-05

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. —  A musician was killed after she left orchestra practice, police said.

RELATED: Woman shot and killed in front of Pinellas Park City Hall

Monday night, Caroline Morton-Hicks, 59, had finished practicing with the Pinellas Park Civic Orchestra at the Pinellas Park Performing Arts Center when authorities said there was an altercation between her and someone else. The altercation happened in the parking lot between City Hall and the Pinellas Park Performing Arts Center.

“Why did this happen to such a wonderful person," Lynne Ellis said.

Ellis knew Morton-Hicks for several years.

“She was beautiful inside and out. (She was) just a friend to everybody, always laughing," Ellis said.

The two met through their love of music. Ellis plays the saxophone. Morton-Hicks played the trombone. Morton-Hicks played with a number of bands in the Tampa Bay area. The friends grew closer when they both lost a loved one to cancer, during the same year.

"It was just nice to have a friend, during all of that," Ellis said.

Last night, Ellis remembered thinking about Morton-Hicks. 

"I was thinking Caroline should be here. She loved dancing. She loved the music. I thought 'oh she’s rehearsing somewhere'," she said. "Llittle did I know within a short time, she’d be gone."

According to Pinellas Park Police detectives, Morton-Ellis ran from the altercation, but was shot and killed. The shooting happened around 9:55 p.m. Ellis found out about the shooting this morning. She said she could not believe it.

“The first thing I thought of her children. I worry about them," she said.

The Pinellas Park Police Department is investigating. They have not released additional information about the possible suspect.