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Manhunt over: Family Dollar murder suspect caught | Crime

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Manhunt over: Family Dollar murder suspect caught

Tampa, Florida -- The six-day manhunt for Demetrius Parks, the man who allegedly shot and killed Tampa Family Dollar store manager Horsley Shorter, is now over.

Police say Parks fatally shot Shorter as he tried to rob the store at 4900 N. 40th St. on the morning of July 14. While he was robbing one employee, Shorter was in his office and saw what was happening so he ran out to stop it and then Parks allegedly shot him. He died from his injuries at a hospital. 

See Also: Employee says manager saved his life during hold-up

A warrant was issued for Parks' arrest on Wednesday, July 17. On Thursday, CBS and Clear Channel stepped up and offered space on 30 billboards throughout Tampa Bay to flash Parks' mugshot for all to see. A $16,000 reward was also offered with the hope it would lead someone to rat him out.

Tampa Police say leads tipped off U.S. Marshals that Parks was hiding in Atlanta, Georgia. Then, they learned late Friday night he boarded a Greyhound bus to Lakeland.

"We knew he had a bus ticket headed to Lakeland this morning to see his family and friends there and then we knew it was stopping in Orlando," said TPD's Public Information Officer, Laura McElroy. "U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force went onto the bus in Orlando around 10 [a.m.] and Parks tried to escape through the window.  He was arrested without incident."

PHOTOS: Family Dollar murder suspect Demetrius Parks' arrest
See also: The many mugshots of Demetrius Parks

TPD says it received dozens of tips after Parks' mug shot was blasted on the Bay area billboards.

"It was an exhaustive manhunt and investigation," said McElroy. "The community played a critical role in finding him."

Shorter's family has been waiting for this arrest all week.

"We knew he would be caught, we just did not know when," said Shorter's older sister, Annielee Shorter.

Shorter had eight siblings. He lived at home with his elderly mother.  Almost all of his siblings have come together this week to support each other and be there for their mother. 

They have been humbled by the community's support.

PHOTOS: Family, friends & community members hold vigil for "J.R."

"All of us are hurt by this," said Shorter's youngest sister, Trinetta Williams. "I hope Parks gets what he deserves."

"We were all excited and glad he is off the streets and no one else has to be a victim of his," said Jennifer Dukes, Shorter's niece. 

Parks is facing charges of first degree murder, armed robbery, carjacking, attempted kidnapping, auto theft, car burglary, and felon in possession of a firearm. 

Shorter's viewing will be held Friday at Aikens Funeral Home from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. his funeral is set for Saturday at 11:00 a.m. at Bethel Temple off Hillsborough Avenue.


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