Tampa-Area Crime Spree Suspect Charlie Bates Killed in Shootout

A search for a man suspected in a series of Tampa-area home invasions and sexual assaults was killed in a police shootout.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A man who was suspected in several violent home invasions and sexual assaults overnight in the Tampa area was shot and killed by police after a chase ended in a shootout Friday morning, officials said. Watch video of the chase here. (Published Friday, Sep 6, 2013)

    A man who was suspected in several violent home invasions and sexual assaults overnight in the Tampa area was shot and killed by police after a chase ended in a shootout Friday morning, officials said.

    Suspect Charlie Christopher Bates, 24, died at a nearby hospital at 1:21 p.m., the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office tweeted.

    He was captured on US 301 just north of Interstate-4 after being spotted in an orange car and was shot at least once by officials, according to the sheriff's office.

    "We could not allow him (Charlie Christopher Bales) to go any further," Sheriff David Gee said via the sheriff's office twitter account.

    No officers were injured in the shootout.

    The manhunt left nearby public schools on a modified lockdown, meaning students were not allowed to partake in outdoor activities. The lockdown was cancelled following Bates' capture.

    Officials had named Bates a suspect in an overnight crime spree near the University of South Florida, along with two earlier home invasions and assaults, at a Friday morning press conference.

    The Thursday night spree began when Bates entered an apartment, bound four men and sexually assaulted four women, officials said. The four women had shown up at Florida Hospital saying they were all sexually assaulted by the same man, reported NBC affiliate WFLA. Deputies then found the men bound with duct tape in an apartment in Cambridge Woods, north of Fletcher Ave. on 42nd St., the station reported.

    Deputies said Bates then went to a different apartment complex where he confronted a woman sitting outside and forced her inside at gunpoint, telling her to undress and kiss him. Bates' attitude changed when the victim began reciting bible scriptures and praying for her attacker, deputies said. He apologized, gave her a shirt to cover up and began to pray with her. She ripped out pages from the Bible and gave them to Bates before he fled, and she called 911, deputies said.

    A short while later, he entered an apartment through an open door at another apartment complex, where 25 people were attending a party, authorities said.

    He forced the 25 people into a bedroom at gunpoint, firing at least one round into the carpet, deputies said.

    Bates left the apartment and chased a man into his apartment, firing his gun along the way, officials said. The man was not hurt.

    Bates was also suspected in two earlier home invasions. On Sept. 3, Bates entered a house through an unlocked back door as a boyfriend and girlfriend slept in the bedroom, deputies said. Bates pistol whipped the boyfriend and committed a sexual act on the girlfriend before fleeing, according to officials. The two didn't report the crime until two days later, fearing for their safety.

    He was also tied to an Aug. 29th home invasion in which he broke into a victim's home near Busch Boulevard and Rome Avenue in Tampa, deputies said. Bates demanded money, a phone and jewelry from the victim and threatened to sexually batter and kill her, officials said.

    In this instance, the victim also began to pray and Bates fled the scene, according to deputies.

    Deputies said they were able to identify Bates from DNA left on the scene of the Aug. 9th incident. While breaking into the home, Bates cut himself and left blood at the scene, causing detectives to issue a warrant for his arrest.

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