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Crime & Courts

Pregnant woman killed, suspect wounded in Tampa home invasion

Published:   |   Updated: December 16, 2013 at 10:33 PM

TAMPA — The woman who was killed this weekend during a home invasion was pregnant, Tampa police said Monday.

Salatheia “Sunshine” Smith, who would have turned 23 on Christmas, died after being shot in her Sulphur Springs home at 8214 N. Brooks St. Police said she was 6-8 weeks pregnant.

Smith’s boyfriend shot one of the men who broke into the home; that man is in critical condition at a local hospital.

Police said the shootings happened when two masked men entered the home, which Smith shared with her boyfriend, at around 5:15 a.m. Sunday through the unlocked front door, police said. "Detectives have determined it is not a random act of violence,” said Laura McElroy, a Tampa police spokeswoman. “The suspects were targeting something inside the house. The motive was robbery; what they were targeting is part of the ongoing investigation.”

During the home invasion, one of the men fatally shot Smith.

Her boyfriend, Charles Duefrane Jr., 23, released his pit bull at the suspects. One suspect - Anthony Robinson, 35, shot the pit bull in the leg, police said.

Police said Robinson dropped his gun as he struggled with the dog.

Duefrane picked up the gun and shot Robinson, who staggered outside the house and collapsed on the sidewalk. Robinson is in critical condition and detectives haven’t been able to interview him, McElroy said.

Robinson has not yet been formally charged in the shooting.

The other suspect ran from the scene and is still being sought. Police on Monday had no physical description of that man.

Duefrane’s mother, Sylvia Lynn Gilley, 38, of Tampa, was visiting her son with her 4-year-old daughter at the time of the home invasion. Gilley protected her daughter by covering her with her body during the shooting, police said. Neither Gilley nor her daughter were injured, police said.

Smith is a dancer who uses the name Sunshine at Flash Dancers in Drew Park, McElroy said.

Duefrane and Gilley couldn’t be reached for comment on Monday night.
It isn’t certain if the suspects will be charged with the death of the unborn child, McElroy said.

“We will confer with the (Hillsborough County) State Attorney’s Office and will review the latest case law to determine if the suspect will be charged with the unborn child’s death,” McElroy said.

The pit bull is in stable condition and has been released from emergency veterinary care, McElroy said. The dog has been placed with Hillsborough County Animal Services, McElroy said.

Anyone with information about the fleeing suspect is urged to call Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477). Callers can remain anonymous and are eligible for a cash reward.
(813) 259-7659
Twitter: @jpatinoTBO