Officials: Drugs, money the motive in triple shooting - FOX 13 News

Officials: Drugs, money the motive in triple shooting

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(Gary Honish) (Gary Honish)
TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Deputies have arrested a 37-year-old man in Sunday's triple shooting near the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

That same man is suspected in two other home invasions in Pasco County, and after all was said in done, two women were dead and two more were injured.

Sunday's shooting in Citrus Park happened in broad daylight. The sheriff's office has confirmed the suspected shooter is Jason Mark Burnett. Deputies have also arrested Gary Honish, 45, who was wanted for being an accessory after the fact.

The sheriff's office says it appears drugs and money was Burnett's motivation.  

"I guess Burnett was looking for a target ... He thought this residence would be a good place to go because he had actually purchased narcotics from that place before," HCSO spokeswoman Debbie Carter said Monday. 

Shortly after news broke of Burnett's arrest, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said Burnett was the suspect in two other home invasions that morning. It's believed Burnett hit two homes in Pasco before making his way to Citrus Park.

None of the people in those home invasions were killed, but Burnett did allegedly hit one woman in the face with a gun.

Sunday's triple shooting happened around 11 a.m. 7420 Manhattan Drive just off Gunn Highway and right near the Citrus Park Mall.

Neighbors told us they were surprised the shooting happened so close to HSCO's office.

"It's very close; you'd think nothing would happen here," said neighbor Jeremiah Greenberg.

Someone discovered two women shot in the home and ran across Gunn Highway to alert sheriff's deputies.

When they responded, they found 56-year-old Fern Giddings dead in the home. Nell Mason, 52, was also in the home and had been shot; she later died at the hospital. Christina Soto, 35, survived and was found down the street from the home. She's in critical condition.

Burnett is charged with two counts of first degree murder; Honish is charged with accessory after the fact to a home invasion robbery. Deputies say Burnett has an extensive criminal record.

Greenberg lives down the street and says while he's shocked three people were shot in his neighborhood, he did notice something during a recent bike ride.

"These people here were very unusual people; there was a lot of noise. I've noticed people arguing out there and the gentleman I've seen out there. He wasn't very friendly," Greenberg said.

FOX 13's April Kellog and Anthony Miller contributed to this report.

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