Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tragedy in Tampa-UPDATED

I was driving to work this morning and my son was sound asleep in the passenger seat.  This is our pattern-I drive to my workplace, wake J up, and then he drives on to his workplace.  This morning, a little over a mile from my work I came up on a scene that looked like it was out of a movie.  I woke J up and all he could say was, "What the hell?"  There were at least twenty police cars in front of us.  We were detoured on to a side street and every street along the way was blocked by a deputy.  The entire MLK area was shut down.  After going several miles out of my way I made it to work.  From TBO.com:

A Tampa police officer is dead and another is on life support after being shot this morning during a traffic stop.

A massive search is under way for the suspects – a man and woman in a red 1994 Toyota Camry.

The dead officer, Jeffrey Kocab, has been with the department for 13 months, coming from the Plant City Police Department. Kocab, 31, leaves behind a wife who is nine months pregnant.

The injured officer, Dave Curtis, also 31, has been with the department for four years. He has a wife and four sons, ages 9, 8, 5 and 8 months.
The first officer pulled the Toyota over because it didn't have a tag and when the officer discovered that the passenger had an outstanding misdemeanor warrant he called for backup.  The second officer arrived and the two approached the car together.  The passenger shot both officers.

It is unbelievable to me that someone would take two lives rather than face a misdemeanor charge. Worse, were the comments at TBO.com, which have since been taken down.  I have never read anything so vile.  Our policeman risk their lives for us everyday.  They deserve our honor and our respect.  They deserve our thanks. 

My prayers go out to the families of the officers.  God bless them for their sacrifice.


The second officer, a father of four young sons, was pronounced dead at 8:40 this morning.  It was his wishes that his organs be donated so his family has agreed to keep him on life support until after his organs are harvested.  He dedicated his life to helping others and will continue to do so even in death. 

I have been told that the wife of the other officer has gone in to labor.  My heart breaks for her.  I can't imagine what she, what both families, must be going through. 

My office is about a quarter of a mile from where the shooting took place.  The helicopters have been right overhead all morning.  There is just an incredible sadness here.  Nobody is talking, everyone is mourning the two fallen officers.

The vehicle has been found at an apartment complex south of here.  I pass by the complex everyday.  It is surrounded on two sides by water and there is only one way in or out.  The police presence is overwhelming and if the killers are there, the police will find them. 

I'll update as I know more.  Again, please pray for the families.


From TBO.com:

The level of interest in the Bristol Bay City View apartment complex just jumped way up. More police cars, tactical response team vehicles and ambulances have arrived in the past 10 minutes
The complex is around four miles south of me but I am hearing an increase in the sirens and the helicopters seem to be moving in that direction.  I pray this will end soon.


The female suspect, Cortnee' Nicole Brantley, was captured at the apartment complex just shortly after my second update.  The male suspect is still at large.  The helicopter is still flying overhead and sporadically throughout the day 15-20+ police vehicles have gone flying past the building with their lights on and sirens going.  I don't know if they are reacting to tips or what might be going on.

Some random thoughts on today’s shooting and killing of two Tampa policemen during a random traffic stop this morning. This is going to be decidedly politically incorrect and I should probably keep it to myself, but…

An excerpt, with emphasis added, from Steve Otto’s column this morning in the Tampa Tribune:

I can't even buy the explanation that this was just a nightmarish convergence of random violence in a violent society in a bad part of town.
Further down Otto again mentions that this is a “bad part of town”. He’s right. But what part of town is it? The officers were shot at 50th Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard. MLK, particularly heading west, is a “no go” zone after dark. I don’t go that way during the day if I can possibly avoid it. The area that was supposed to be a tribute to King is instead a tribute to everything that is wrong with the entitlement society. Drugs, prostitution, gangs and fatherless homes plague the area.

Blacks have won the civil rights battle and lost the human dignity war.  The policies of Liberal politicians have enslaved more African Americans than all the plantations in the old South. This should not be Rev. King’s legacy.


Anonymous said...


Lord help them.

cathy said...

Thank you for sharing this awful story -- I know that sounds absurd, but at least more of the world can offer, if nothing else, our prayers for these men and their families.

Carol said...

I just don't know how to put in words how sad I am. I've been told that the shooter was wanted on a warrent for writing a bad check. Two men lost their lives for that? Five children are without that fathers. Sometimes nothing makes sense.