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Crime & Courts

Suspect arrested in shooting deaths of two neighbors in North Tampa

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Published:   |   Updated: October 20, 2013 at 06:27 PM

TAMPA — Leaning against the bed of a pickup truck in her gated front yard, Michell Badsen, her head braced against her right hand, could not understand why her husband, Percy Badsen, was dead.

Just after 8 p.m. Saturday Percy Badsen heard a gunshot outside his home at 2304 E. 110th Ave. As he approached the front door and reached for the door knob, a bullet struck him in the chest.

He stumbled back, fell into a chair, and died, Michell Badsen said.

“I can't believe it happened, but it happened,” Michell Badsen said. “I saw them take the body out there … they took him out this morning. The chair and in (the house) is just blood. I haven't touched anything in there.”

The incident began with a neighborhood dispute Saturday night that left two people shot dead and the suspected shooter, himself wounded, jailed on charges of second-degree murder and aggravated assault.

Tampa police charged Juan Molina, 45, after he emerged from his 2311 E. 110th Ave. home with a gunshot wound to the face. He was taken to Tampa General Hospital where he was treated and he remained in the hospital Sunday afternoon. His condition was not immediately available.

Police said they and Tampa Fire Rescue paramedics were called to the neighborhood around 8 p.m. Saturday and found Erica White, lying in the street, shot to death. They later found Percy Badsen in his home.

Investigators say Molina confronted White concerning a neighborhood dispute and shot her. He then walked to Badsen's house and fired a shot through the door, striking and killing Percy Badsen, 53. As Molina tried to break into the house, Badsen's 23-year-old stepson fired back, hitting Molina in the face.

Michell Badsen, 43, said her son was outside when Molina shot White in the head. Her son ran into his home and Molina chase him.

Michell Badsen, a native of Montego Bay, Jamaica, said her husband, originally from the Bahamas, was a kind man.

“He's a good man. A good family man,” said Badsen, who celebrated her 9th wedding anniversary with her husband on Aug. 27. “He goes to church. My husband's friendly with everybody and everybody's friendly with my husband. That's why I say I can't understand what happened.”

Badsen said she and her husband have lived in the home for 12 years. She was on her way home from a birthday party in Temple Terrace when the shooting happened.

The couple have two daughters, ages 11 and 6, and her older son from a previous marriage is the one who shot Molina as he tried to break into the house.

Tampa police Lt. Ron McMullen said the nature of the neighborhood dispute was unclear, but that “it had been ongoing for a long, long time.”

Just prior to the shooting, an incident occurred in which Molina's son, Juan C. Molina, 25, was arrested, jail records show. McMullen was unsure if the incident was connected to the homicides.

The son was charged with aggravated assault after he threatened a neighbor with a knife prior to the shootings, according to an arrest affidavit. The unidentified neighbor told police Molina threatened to stab him “for unknown reasons” and that he escaped by riding away on his bicycle, with Molina chasing him for about a block, the affidavit said.

Sunday afternoon, Michell Badsen's parents, sister, brother and family friends gathered to offer their support.

“It means a lot to me because everyone is trying to comfort me,” Michell Badsen said. “It means a lot to me. If I could just get him back, that would be a whole lot for me. A whole lot. But I know he can't come back. He's gone.”

edaniels@tampatrib.com

(813) 371-1860

Twitter: @EDanielsTBO

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