TAMPA, Fla. – On June 8, 2021, at 11:22 PM, Tampa Police Officers were dispatched to the area of I-275 near Sligh Avenue for the report of a motor vehicle crash. One of the callers told police that they had heard gunshots in addition to the crash.
Tampa Fire Rescue located a Blue Dodge Challenger on the inside shoulder of the southbound roadway.
The driver, later identified as Lance Henry James, Jr, 23, was found with a gunshot wound, transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital, and later dies from his injuries.
Tampa Police Detectives continued to develop leads in their investigation and developing probable cause that linked Raphael Tyree Thomas, 23, Tyrone James Ellison, 23, and Donte Moses Turner, 18, to the shooting of Lance James, Jr.
Thomas was already in jail in Sumter County on Murder and Aggravated Battery with Firearm charges stemming from a June 21, 2001 shooting in the Wildwood, FL area investigated by Sumter County Sheriff’s Office that resulted in several subjects being shot, including the step-brother of Lance Henry James, Jr., Louis Carr V, and James’ sister, Cornecia Quanshay Smikle, who ultimately succumbed to her injuries.
Raphael Tyree Thomas has now been charged with Conspiracy to Commit Murder in the First Degree, Murder in the First Degree, and Shooting Into a Vehicle.
Tyrone James Ellison, Jr. and Dontae Moses Turner were also currently incarcerated on unrelated firearm possession warrants.
Tyrone Ellison, Jr has now been charged with Conspiracy to Commit Murder in the First Degree, Murder in the First Degree, and Shooting Into a Vehicle.
Dontae Turner has now been charged with Conspiracy to Commit Murder in the First Degree.