Ugly - CCW Holder Killed in Robbery - Tampa, FL

This is a discussion on Ugly - CCW Holder Killed in Robbery - Tampa, FL within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Teacher helping a friend to install a car stereo was held up at gunpoint by two punks. Teacher draws and a gunbattle ensues. Both teacher ...

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Thread: Ugly - CCW Holder Killed in Robbery - Tampa, FL

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Rustynuts's Avatar
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    Ugly - CCW Holder Killed in Robbery - Tampa, FL

    Teacher helping a friend to install a car stereo was held up at gunpoint by two punks. Teacher draws and a gunbattle ensues. Both teacher and one robber are wounded and die later at the hospital. One other thug already arrested. The idiot accomplice is now going down for two murders in connection with this and probably never fired a shot. Good riddance. He should have been arrested just based on his hair in the mugshot.

    Took some guts to draw down when the BG's gun is already out. Must have seen some opportunity. Too bad it didn't end better for him.

    Teen Held In Deadly Gunbattle

    This happened in Seffner which is pretty rural outside of Tampa. A little surprising, but I'm sure they have a growing gang problem like most areas around major cities.

    Teen Held In Deadly Gunbattle
    By MICHAEL SASSO

    The Tampa Tribune
    Published: August 3, 2008

    SEFFNER - Sean S. Ellenberger was a 39-year-old teacher at a private school in St. Petersburg.

    Titus Leon Hill was a 19-year-old Seffner resident who was preparing to go to college.

    Their paths crossed and their lives ended in the span of a few hours, according to Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies. About midnight Friday, Hill and at least one other suspect - one of them armed with a handgun - tried to rob Ellenberger and another man outside a Seffner home, deputies said.

    Ellenberger, who was licensed to carry a concealed gun, pulled a pistol of his own, deputies said.

    They said shots were fired and, in a brief gunbattle, both Ellenberger and Hill were mortally wounded.

    Late Saturday afternoon, deputies arrested one suspect and continued searching for another. Michael Balkaran, 17, of 6298 Wildwood Oak Drive, Tampa, was arrested at a friend's house in Tampa, said sheriff's spokesman J.D. Callaway. He did not reveal how Balkaran was found.

    Balkaran was charged with first-degree murder in connection with Ellenberger's death and second-degree murder in Hill's death. Balkaran was being held at the county's Juvenile Assessment Center.

    Balkaran also was charged with armed robbery and attempted armed robbery. Ellenberger's cell phone, wallet, radar detector and car stereo were taken during the incident, deputies said.

    "I feel like it's such a senseless thing for this to happen," said Mitzi Mess, the mother of Ellenberger's best friend, Bob Mess.

    "This is such a tragedy. He was a nice guy."

    The attempted robbery and bloodshed took place a few blocks from Hill's home.

    Ellenberger and Bob Mess were installing a stereo in a Jeep Cherokee parked outside Mess's home, at 5210 Orange Ave., when Hill and at least one other suspect approached, deputies said. The suspects attempted to steal items from them before the gunfire rang out, deputies said.

    Hill, of 11902 Mango Groves Blvd., and at least one other suspect fled in a vehicle, deputies said. At some point, a friend took Hill to St. Joseph's Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Ellenberger died about 3 a.m. Saturday at Tampa General Hospital.

    Neighbors described hearing the gunshots late Friday night but didn't see the shooting. They said the neighborhood is generally peaceful.

    "It's quiet here, everybody keeps to themselves," said Darryl Lockett, who lives nearby and heard what sounded to him like firecrackers around the time of the shooting.

    In a brief interview, Ellenberger's mother, Anne Langford of St. Petersburg, said her son taught at Broach St. Petersburg, a private school for children with learning disabilities. It is owned by a Nashville company called Educational Services of America.

    Mitzi Mess, who lives in Seminole, said her son and Ellenberger had become friends some 20 years ago through their church, and Ellenberger visited her son nearly every Friday night. Mess is a talented handyman, so on Friday night Ellenberger traveled to Seffner for help with his stereo.

    Mess, who works in information technology at University Community Hospital, was not injured in the attempted robbery.

    Mitzi Mess said Ellenberger had just received a master's degree online from Boise State University. Her son and Ellenberger traveled to Boise, Idaho, a few months ago so Ellenberger could go through graduation ceremonies, she said.

    Ellenberger had a concealed gun permit, state records show.

    "Sean has always had a fascination with guns," Mess said. "That has always worried me."

    Neighbors who lived near Ellenberger in the Shore Acres area of St. Petersburg said he grew up in the neighborhood and was living with and taking care of his mother. They declined further comment.

    Hill's mother didn't want to comment, said John Green, who said he was Hill's stepfather.

    Green said he and Hill's mother had little information about the alleged robbery attempt. He said his stepson had no history of trouble and was getting ready to take a test to enter college. The family had just moved to their Seffner neighborhood three or four months ago from Riverview.

    "It's very tough because we don't know what happened," Green said.

    Reporter Jamie Pilarczyk contributed to this report.
    Reporter Michael Sasso can be reached at XXX XXX XXXX

    [story added by QKS]

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array sui-juris's Avatar
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    Thats too bad, but at least he took one w/him. His actions probably helped save his friend.
    Nice verbal nitpicking going back and forth on that article at the end.
    " Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master." George Washington

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    Member Array NKMG19's Avatar
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    A fellow CWL holder defended himself and paid the ultimate price. He chose not to bow to the will of a thug and defended himself. I feel sorry for the family's lost.

    And then there is the 19yr old thug who was "supposed to take a test to go to college". Yeah right. He took the thug test alright, and he failed miserabely. One less BG in the world.

    SEFFNER - Sean S. Ellenberger was a 39-year-old teacher at a private school in St. Petersburg.
    Titus Leon Hill was a 19-year-old Seffner resident who was preparing to go to college.
    Their paths crossed and their lives ended in the span of a few hours, Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies said. About midnight Friday, Hill and at least one other suspect one of them armed with a handgun - tried to rob Ellenberger and another man outside a Seffner home, deputies said.
    Ellenberger, who was licensed to carry a concealed gun, pulled a pistol of his own, deputies said.
    Shots were fired, and in a brief gunbattle both Ellenberger and Hill were mortally wounded, deputies said.
    Late Saturday, deputies arrested Michael Balkaran, 17, of 6298 Wildwood Oak Drive in Tampa. He was located at a friend's house in Tampa, where he was placed under arrest and charged with first-degree murder in connection with Ellenberger's death, second-degree murder for Hill's death which occurred during a felony, armed robbery and attempted armed robbery. He is being held at the Juvenile Assessment Center.
    Deputies say they are looking for another suspect, and the investigation is continuing.
    Ellenberger's cell phone, wallet, radar detector and car stereo were taken during the incident, deputies said.
    "I feel like it's such a senseless thing for this to happen," said Mitzi Mess, the mother of Ellenberger's best friend, Bob Mess.
    "This is such a tragedy. He was a nice guy."
    The attempted robbery and bloodshed took place a few blocks from Hill's home.
    Ellenberger and Bob Mess were installing a stereo in a Jeep Cherokee that was parked outside of Mess' home at 5210 Orange Ave. when Hill and at least one other suspect approached, deputies said. Ellenberger and Mess and attempted to steal items from them before the gunfire rang out, deputies said.
    Hill, who lived at 11902 Mango Groves Blvd., and at least one other suspect fled in a vehicle, deputies said. At some point a friend transported Hill to St. Joseph's Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Ellenberger died about 3 a.m. today at Tampa General Hospital.
    Neighbors described hearing the gunshots late Friday night but didn't see the shooting. They generally said the neighborhood is peaceful.
    "It's quiet here, everybody keeps to themselves," said Darryl Lockett, who lives nearby and heard what sounded like firecrackers around the time of the shooting.
    In a brief interview, Ellenberger's mother, Anne Langford of St. Petersburg, said her son taught at Broach St. Petersburg, a private school for children with learning disabilities. It is owned by a Nashville company called Educational Services of America.
    Mitzi Mess, who lives in Seminole, said her son and Ellenberger had become friends some 20 years ago through their church and Ellenberger visited her son nearly every Friday night. Mess is a talented handyman, so on Friday night Ellenberger traveled to Seffner for help with his stereo. Mess, who works in information technology at University Community Hospital, was not injured in the attempted robbery.
    Mitzi Mess said Ellenberger had just received a master's degree online from Boise State University. Her son and Ellenberger traveled to Boise, Idaho a few months ago so Ellenberger could go through graduation ceremonies, she said.
    Ellenberger had a concealed gun permit, state records show.
    "Sean has always had a fascination with guns," Mess said. "That has always worried me."
    Neighbors who lived near Ellenberger in the Shore Acres area of St. Petersburg said he grew up in the neighborhood and was living with and taking care of his mother. They declined further comment.
    Hill's mother didn't want to comment, said John Green, who said he was Hill's stepfather. Green said he and Hill's mother had little information about the alleged robbery attempt. He said his stepson had no history of trouble and was getting ready to take a test to enter college. The family had just moved to their Seffner neighborhood three or four months ago from Riverview.
    "It's very tough because we don't know what happened," Green said.
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    Senior Member Array sheepdog's Avatar
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    And then there is the 19yr old thug who was "supposed to take a test to go to college".
    I saw that in the article and laughed out loud. I bet he was "just getting his life together," too. He was probably going to sell the stereo he took at gunpoint to pay tuition.
    What Would Gumby Do?

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    Senior Member Array Rustynuts's Avatar
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    At least the other thug won't have to worry about tuition now, at least for several decades or the death chamber.

  7. #6
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    Terrible story...I hope this little thug gets the needle.
    Their paths crossed...like they were both just walking through life...makes me puke.
    One was on a path of a worthwhile life, the other was racing on a dirt road to hell.
    Could have awareness helped here? Hard to second guess...

    I see thugs like this everyday in school...not hard to pick out...and you know where they're headed.

    My heart goes out to the friends and relatives of Mr. Ellenberger, Hill has already completed his trek to hell...hope he enjoys the heat.His partner(s) will soon join him!

    Stay armed...be aware, always...stay safe!
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    Member Array cowbilly's Avatar
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    a horrible story horribly written,was it just me or was this slanted to make the young thugs the victims as well .they didn't quite say how many armed robberies poor Mr. Ellenberger committed on his way to his masters degree but they sure gave one the feeling thats what the writer wanted to state
    Never approach a Bull from the front , a Horse from the rear or a Fool from any direction!

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array Sig 210's Avatar
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    Titus Leon Hill was a 19-year-old Seffner resident who was preparing to go to college.

    Yep, the young mans dreams of becoming a brain surgeon were dashed when that evil guy decided to defend himself. The young hero's best friend will be charged with murder: How tragic. Bet the little scumbag would have broke the curve in every class he took.

  10. #9
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    You really need to think through what you're going to do if someone comes at you with his gun already drawn!

    It's hard to beat someone who already has the drop on you.

    I'm sure the two victims were engrossed in performing the stereo installation when they were approached. If so, that really needs to be factored in as to whether you want to draw your gun or not.

    It's a judgment call at best and I can't second guess this guy.

    However, he's dead and maybe he wouldn't be if in that particular incident he had just given up the loot. Then again, he could be just as dead! Thugs are ruthless these days, and I tend not to give them any quarter! I may have acted in the exact same way.

    It's important to remember that 1) just because you have a gun doesn't mean you have to use it! If you can get NO tactical advantage, sometimes it may be best to do as you're told and hope for the best! 2) just because you have a gun, doesn't mean you're going to survive.

    Bottom line is... If you are going to draw against a gun that is already pointed at you... You really need to train against that specific type of threat and train a lot.

    I'm glad he took one with him and the other one is facing two murder counts! But it's a hollow victory at best!

    My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends!

    I hope the surviving bad guy gets the "hot needle!"
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

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    VIP Member Array grady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NKMG19 View Post
    He chose not to bow to the will of a thug and defended himself.
    He may have drawn while he already had a gun pointed at him. At least he didn't just trust in the robbers' mercy. If he had, perhaps his friend would be dead also.

    The world is a better place when the thugs are either dead or in prison.

  12. #11
    Member Array DAtrigger's Avatar
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    I agree that the article was extremely poorly written. BG preparing for college?? Crossed paths?? The reporter trying to negate the obvious which is that these two cowardly thugs deliberately chose their victim who happened to shoot back. Too bad he also had to pay for this with his life.

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    Senior Member Array jofrdo's Avatar
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    Let's hope that they charge Balkaran, the surviving BG, as an adult.

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    VIP Member Array Guns and more's Avatar
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    No mention of drugs, but I'll bet they weren't stealing to save for college.
    "supposed to take a test to go to college".
    Harvard?

  15. #14
    Senior Member Array MilitaryPower's Avatar
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    That sucks. Not too far away either. Punks.
    Gun control can be blamed in part for allowing 9/11 to happen.
    "Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum" (Latin)- "If you want peace, prepare for war".

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    VIP Member Array tns0038's Avatar
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    A terrible situation; I hate to hear of one of us falling, and I pray none of us ever have to face this kind of situation.

    If a BG already has you at gun point, you can count on getting shot if you go for your gun.

    As much as I would hate it, I think I'd go along with the BG and hope for an opening to draw.

    And knowing the BG already has a gun in his hand, if I got an opening to draw, I'd make sure to keep firing until the BG is down hard.

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