Law & Order

Omar Mateen, who authorities say killed 49 people at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, Fla., was reportedly no stranger to the club.

Multiple media outlets are reporting that some Pulse regulars recognized Mateen, saying that he had spent time at the nightclub before the shooting early Sunday. Witnesses have said the same to authorities, NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports, citing U.S. officials with knowledge of the investigation.

Meanwhile, at least two men have told the media they interacted with Mateen on gay dating apps. Investigators have not commented on the claims.

As in mass shootings elsewhere, the massacre of 49 people at an Orlando nightclub is raising questions about access to guns — assault rifles, in particular.

Vigils, marches and rallies were held across the country and the world on Monday evening to remember the victims of the deadly attack in Orlando, Fla.

Events were held in New York, Vermont, Florida, California, Alaska, Rhode Island, Colorado, Louisiana, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and in Washington, D.C. Another vigil is scheduled for Tuesday in Atlanta, Ga.

In New York, thousands gathered outside the Stonewall Inn, the site of a 1969 police raid that launched the modern gay rights movement.

Mary Shedden/WUSF

About one hundred people gathered near the Metro Wellness Center in Ybor City Sunday night to remember the victims of the Orlando shooting.

Like another vigil held in St. Petersburg, a collection of interfaith groups and other civic activist groups organized the gathering.

Joel Bates is a Tampa resident with friends in Orlando who go to the Pulse nightclub, the LGBT nightclub where the massacre took place. He says none of them were hurt in the shooting.

Citrus County Sheriff's Office

A Citrus County man has been taken into custody after surveillance video shows him trying to kidnap a girl inside a store.

Citrus County deputies tell media outlets that 30-year-old Craig Bonello is facing charges of child abuse and kidnapping involving Tuesday's incident at a Dollar General Store in Hernando.

"Deadly Secrets: The Lost Children of Dozier" debuts Friday, June 3, at 8 p.m. on LMN.
LMN / Part2Productions

The University of South Florida's lengthy investigation of the Dozier School for Boys is the subject of a national TV documentary debuting Friday night, June 3.

"Deadly Secrets: The Lost Children of Dozier" takes an in-depth look at the more than 100-year history of the Florida Reform School, decades of allegations of abuse, and the mysterious deaths of dozens of students.

Courtesy of Sarasota Co. Sheriff's Office Emergency Operations

Sarasota County has become among the first counties in Florida to be able to accept text to 911 emergency messages. But Emergency Operations Manager Kris Adams stresses that if you can speak, it's still best to call though.

Wikimedia Commons

A case that could decide the fate of nearly 400 death row inmates in Florida is being deliberated by the Florida Supreme Court.

The defendant whose case is under consideration by the state high court is Timothy Hurst. It was his case which prompted the U.S. Supreme Court to throw out Florida's death sentencing process.

via Linked In

Tampa City Councilman Guido Maniscalco represents District 6. He knows all too well what it feels like to get a parking ticket in the city.

He has a proposal to allow people with parking tickets to donate non-perishable food items and get credit toward their parking fines, up to say, $15. The food would then be donated to Metropolitan Ministries, The Salvation Army, or another local food pantry for distribution to the needy.

Company website

Exotic dancers and "door girls" at Thee Dollhouse in Tampa are suing the strip club. They say they are owed nearly $4 million in unpaid wages.

At issue is whether the dancers and others who work at Thee Dollhouse are "employees" or "independent contractors."

necir.org

The U.S. Department of Justice released a long-awaited report Wednesday morning that found Tampa Police unfairly stopped and ticketed black bicyclists as part of its bike stop program.

Associated Press

St. Petersburg Police made an arrest early this morning in the death of a St. Petersburg teenager who was killed in his driveway on his 18th birthday Wednesday. 

David Turner / Bay News 9

UPDATED 3/27 at 2 P.M. 

A Tampa police officer was shot and two men were killed during a shootout Saturday afternoon.

Lawmakers Hope Dozier Bill Will Help Healing

Mar 8, 2016
Pool/Edmund D. Fountain / Tampa Bay Times

A measure intended to help heal a community and people who suffered at a former reform school where the remains of 51 boys have been unearthed is headed to the desk of Gov. Rick Scott.

Roberto Roldan/WUSF

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and Police Chief Anthony Holloway announced new initiatives on Tuesday to curb gun violence.

Governor Rick Scott signed a number of bills into law Wednesday. Among them are a pair of gun-related bills that have the backing of law enforcement and gun rights groups.

The Florida House is moving forward with a new capital sentencing scheme after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the existing system just over a month ago.  But even with last minute changes, lawmakers are hesitant to completely embrace unanimity.

Pool/Edmund D. Fountain/Tampa Bay Times

A relative of one of the boys buried at a shuttered reform school and a representative of Jackson County would be part of a task force that establishes a memorial and determines where unclaimed remains should be re-interned, under a proposal backed Thursday by a Senate panel.

House Pulls Trigger On Gun Bills

Feb 3, 2016

Update:  The House passed both open carry and campus carry. But both bills face slim chances in the Senate.

Pages