After day-long search, suspected rapist Charlie Christopher 'Chris' Bates shot to death in shootout
Suspect died at 1:21 p.m.
3:05 PM, Sep 6, 2013
11:26 PM, Sep 6, 2013
Suspected rapist Charlie Christopher 'Chris' Bates was shot and killed in a shootout with law enforcement officers Friday afternoon, after several agencies went door-to-door in a day-long search for him.
The hunt for Bates, 24, ended dramatically, shortly after he was spotted driving near Greco High School in Temple Terrace. Officers attempted to stop him near U.S. 301 at Harney Road and Temple Terrace Hwy., but he fired a gun through the back window at the officers.
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They continued pursuit south on U.S. 301 and an officer sped up to perform what they called a PIT maneuver, or bump him from behind. Bates lost control of the car on the second collision, and ended up in a ditch just south of Interstate 4.
Officers closed in, including Tampa Police, Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputies, and the U.S. Marshals task force. The suspect began shooting through the windshield at no less than seven officers, who protected themselves with ballistic shields.
Officers returned fire, wounding the suspect, and they were able to remove the suspect from the vehicle.
The suspect died at 1:21 after receiving medical care.
No officers were injured in the exchange.
Bates was on the run after a series of home invasions near USF late Thursday night and early Friday morning. Officials said Bates fired shots, raped four women, and forced some 20 people at a birthday party into a bedroom.
Larry McKinnon, spokesperson for Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, said a series of armed home invasions began unfolding before midnight at various nearby apartment complexes near N. 42nd Street north of Fletcher Ave.
McKinnon said the suspect entered an apartment at the Cambridge Woods Apartments on the west side of 42nd St. just north of Fletcher, where eight USF students were inside. The suspect bound the four men inside with duct tape and sexually battered four women.
The suspect fled on foot to the Oaks Apartments, across 42nd St from the original incident at Cambridge. There, he entered an apartment where some 20 plus people were celebrating a woman's birthday. The suspect forced them all into a bedroom at gunpoint. The suspect fired at least one round into the carpet.
Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor said the same man approached a woman outside her apartment at the nearby Eagle Point apartment complex around 11:00 p.m. Thursday. The man forced her inside, and the woman prayed with and for the suspect. After they talked for about 30 minutes, the suspect left without hurting the woman or taking anything.
As the suspect left, he encountered the woman's boyfriend, who ran to a nearby apartment as the suspect chased and shot at him. The man got into the apartment and closed the door. The suspect fired at least three rounds without hitting the man. At least one round struck the door.
Deputies had already responded to the original incident at Cambridge Woods and heard the gunfire from across the street. They gave chase, but were unable to locate the suspect.
Castor said the suspect, who called himself 'Chris,' is tied to another home invasion in August and is suspected in another on September 3.
Blood matching the suspect's DNA was found after a home invasion on August 9 at a home near Busch Boulevard and Rome Avenue. Bates is suspected of breaking in through a glass door, where he was injured and began to bleed. He forced a woman there into a bedroom and made her disrobe. She began to pray, according to Castor, and he ended up leaving with cash and other valuables.
In another incident on September 3, while a couple was asleep in a bedroom near 93rd St. and Nebraska Avenue, the woman heard a noise and woke her husband. As the man got up to investigate, a black male suspect pistol-whipped him and sexually assaulted the woman. He stole credit cards and cash before leaving.
On Friday, officers were able to match a fingerprint at one of the scenes to the DNA left behind on the August 9 incident, which allowed them to identify Bates as the suspect.
Just after noon, officers found his car behind Greco Middle School in Temple Terrace.
They also found evidence that Bates had shaved his head and cut off his dreadlocks.
Earlier Friday, officers found a woman's cell phone left behind at one of the home invasion scenes. Late Friday afternoon, detectives located the owner. She is safe. It was thought she could possibly be an unidentified victim of Bates.
Bates told a victim that he had killed someone, although police have not yet found any evidence of that.
>Bates' Criminal History:
On August 9, He allegedly broke into a woman's home near Busch Blvd. and Rome Ave. in Tampa. He is accused of threatening to rape and kill her. But, the victim started praying and Bates ran off.
On September 3, police said Bates broke into a home near 15th Street and Comanche Ave. He pistol whipped a man and committed a sex act on a woman.
Then on September 5, Police said Bates forced his way into a woman's apartment and made her take her clothes off. She started reciting bible verses and Bates left.
>Family: Bates was suicidal
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".
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