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Monday, Jan 21, 2019
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Shooting of USF rampage suspect ruled justified

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County State Attorney has concluded the killing of a crime spree suspect last month was justified.

State Attorney Mark Ober wrote Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor and Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee to say the seven law enforcement officers involved in the Sept. 6 shootout on U.S. 301 will not face any charges.

The suspect, Charlie Christopher Bates, 24, had sexually assaulted four University of South Florida students and terrorized a large of partygoers, forcing them into a bedroom at gunpoint and threatening to shoot them.

He went to another apartment and held a woman hostage, then stole her car as the police dragnet tightened around him. He led police on a high-speed car chase, shooting through the back windshield at pursuing officers.

In the end, he died in a hail of bullets in front of a Waffle House.

In a letter dated Sept. 20 and released Friday, Ober said his staff responded to the scene and watched a reconstruction of the events by the law enforcement officers involved. Staff members also interviewed the officers and concluded the shooting was justified.

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