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Fugitive Suspected of 2023 Shooting and Kidnapping at Tropicana Apprehended


BRADENTON — The suspect in the June 2023 shooting of a coworker at Tropicana Bradenton and the armed kidnapping of a second coworker is in custody. Demetrius Tyrone Bell, 51, was arrested in Bradenton early Tuesday after nearly sliding off a roof.

On June 5, 2023, Bell entered the plant after his scheduled shift and shot a male coworker, causing serious injuries. Bell then forced a female coworker to leave with him. The victim was released in Hillsborough County two days later. Bell had been at large since.

On Monday night, the Bradenton Police Department’s Crime Reduction Team received information that Bell had returned to Bradenton. Bell ran from the officers. However, with the assistance of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office Aviation Unit, he was spotted clinging to the roof of a storage facility in the 2800 block of Manatee Ave. East.

Bell was secured by officers and assisted to the ground by the fire department before being arrested. The Manatee County Sheriff's Office and Sarasota County Sheriff's Office's K9 Unit also assisted BPD with the search.

Bell has been charged with Attempted Murder, Armed Kidnapping, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon (one count for the June 5, 2023 shooting and one count for his arrest on April 16, 2024), and Resisting without violence.


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