Road rage blamed in fatal shooting on Palm Harbor streetBy Mike Brassfield, Times Staff Writer
In Print: Wednesday, March 7, 2012
[DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times]
Baker, who died at the scene of the shooting, lived with his twin brother and his girlfriend in one of those complexes, Sabal Palms at Boot Ranch.
The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office gave the following account:
Shortly after 2 a.m., three vehicles were headed south on East Lake Road — one driven by Brandon Baker, the second by Seth Browning, and the third by Brandon's twin, Christopher Baker.
Browning told deputies that he had become concerned about Brandon Baker's driving. In an attempt to get his tag number, Browning followed him onto the frontage road. The third car followed the other two.
The vehicles came to a stop, and Brandon Baker got out of his Chevy pickup and aggressively approached Browning's car, deputies said. Browning responded by using pepper spray on Baker and his brother, who was also approaching Browning's car.
Deputies say Brandon Baker reached into Browning's vehicle and punched him, and he in turn pulled out his gun and shot Brandon Baker.
Browning called 911 and stayed at the scene until sheriff's deputies arrived. He wasn't on duty at the time, but he is authorized to carry a gun through his employer, the Sheriff's Office said.
Christopher Baker was not injured. A passenger in his car — Amy Marcellus, Brandon Baker's girlfriend — also was not injured. She remained inside the car during the incident, deputies said.
The Sheriff's Office investigation is ongoing.
Little information about Baker was available Tuesday. He attended East Lake High School. He has no Florida arrest record. At one time he owned B & B Lawn Service & Trimming, according to Florida corporate records.
The shooting took place in front of the Egret's Landing apartment complex, on an access road that straddles two large retention ponds.
Justin Clarida, who lives nearby, said he heard screaming during the incident. "I heard someone yell, 'Oh, my God! Brandon! Somebody call 911!' " Clarida said.
Mike Brassfield can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 445-4151.
Copyright 2012 Tampa Bay Times