Jealousy May Have Sparked Shooting
Published: Jul 27, 2007
TAMPA – The motive for a fatal shooting Wednesday afternoon outside
a fast-food restaurant in Northdale appears to have been jealousy.
The suspect, 51-year-old Thomas Hall of Brooksville – a former Tampa
police officer – remained in Orient Road Jail on Thursday, charged with
first-degree murder and aggravated battery with a motor vehicle. No
bail was set.
Shot to death behind the Checkers restaurant at North Dale Mabry
Highway and Northdale Boulevard was Jason Mullis, 35, of 3201 Hoedt
Road. Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputies said Mullis was shot about
4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Sheriff’s spokesman J.D. Callaway said Hall’s estranged wife, Debra, was in a relationship with Mullis.
"The suspect knew there was going to be a meeting between the victim and the suspect’s wife nearby," Callaway said.
As Hall pulled onto the street where Mullis lived, he spotted the victim driving out, Callaway said.
Hall was driving a Mercedes and rammed the front of Mullis’ pickup
truck right behind the Checkers, the spokesman said. Mullis got out of
his pickup and shots were fired. Deputies did not know whether Hall got
out of the car or fired the shots from the driver’s seat, Callaway said.
Hall drove off, disappearing in a nearby neighborhood, where he
abandoned his car, according to Callaway. Hall then ditched the
.45-caliber handgun and walked to the HARTline bus stop at North
Lakeview Drive, Callaway said.
During this time, he called his estranged wife, who was at a nearby
McDonald’s restaurant, and told her, "I’m here with Jason," Callaway
said. She then drove down Hoedt Road and happened upon the homicide
Within two hours, Hall, through an attorney, negotiated his
surrender at the HARTline bus stop. Since then, he had refused to talk
with detectives, Callaway said.
Tampa police records show that Hall was an officer with the
department from October 1985 through July 2000, when he opted for a
deferred retirement. At the time, he was under investigation by the
internal affairs division on regarding accusations he falsified
documents about where he lived to get permission to take his patrol car
home, police said.
The investigation ended with Hall’s resignation.
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