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Crime & Courts

Suspect arrested in slaying of St. Pete security guard

Published:   |   Updated: March 21, 2013 at 03:16 AM

The St. Petersburg Police Department arrested a 20-year-old man Tuesday night in the shooting death of a security guard that occurred early Monday morning at an apartment complex.

Bradley Bolden, 6701 21st St. S., St. Petersburg, was arrested in the 1300 block of 66 Avenue South about 9:15 p.m. and taken into custody on a first-degree murder charge in connection with the shooting death of security officer Mathew Little.

Bolden admitted to investigators that he committed the killing and was motivated by his dislike for security officers and police, police said.

Investigators had received tips that Bolden had committed the slaying. One witness saw him carrying two handguns as he fled the Mariners Pointe Apartments right after the shooting at around 1 a.m., police said.

Investigators are trying to recover the murder weapon and Little’s handgun, police said.

Little, 26, of Brandon, was slain early Monday while on duty at the apartment complex. He had worked for Critical Intervention Services since late 2009.

Suzie Leyczek, his fiancée, said Little recently started riding patrol in Clearwater and St. Petersburg, which he didn’t like because the areas he patrolled didn’t seem safe.

"At least he felt comfort in the fact that he would be driving in a car that there would be a little bit more safety, and unfortunately this past (Monday) it didn’t make a difference if he was driving or not," Leyczek said.

Little’s brother, Christopher Little, a researcher at the University of Florida, said he was concerned about his brother’s job.

"I knew what he did was dangerous," said Christopher Little, 25. "But at the same time he was my older brother. He was the one that was always there and protected me when I was little. So being the younger brother you probably don’t have the same concern that he would have for me."

Craig Gundry, vice president of special projects for the company, said Mathew Little came to the complex to conduct a routine check when he "apparently was ambushed. We don't know at this point if he was targeted or if it was a wrong-place, wrong-time situation."

Little went to the scene about 1 a.m.

At 1:07 a.m., police received an anonymous call about multiple shots fired at the apartment complex, 1175 Pinellas Point Drive S. Police went to the scene but didn't find anything; one resident told police he hadn't heard gunshots.

Police left at 1:51 a.m.

Soon after, Critical Intervention Services’ dispatch center called for law enforcement help after being unable to contact Little on the radio.

Police arrived at 1:59 a.m. and 10 minutes later found the guard between two parked trucks in the parking lot near the pool and tennis court area.

He had been shot at least once and died at the scene, police said.

Largo-based Critical Intervention Services, which started in 1993, has more than 300 employees. Little is the agency's first employee to be killed in the line of duty.

A reward leading to the person who shot and killed Mathew Little was increased to $13,500 on Tuesday. His company was offering a $10,000 reward, a longtime company client was offering $1,000 and an organization that supports security officers was offering $2,500, said Amy O’Rourke, Critical Intervention Services’ director of public affairs.

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