TAMPA—What started as a self-defense shooting at a Tampa convenience store last month has turned into a murder investigation.
Store owner Taquanda Shanti Baker, 32, is charged with filing a false police report, tampering/fabricating evidence and firing her weapon in an occupied dwelling to make it look like self-defense.
The charges stem from a shooting last month at Baker’s Mini Mart on Armenia Avenue.
Tampa Police say Baker completely made up a story about shooting and killing 16-year-old Quantavius Moore, who goes by Antonio.
Three weeks ago, Baker told detectives she was working at a mini-mart [shouldn’t that be “the” minimart?] and shot Moore because he pulled a gun and was trying to rob the store.
Police say her story did not match forensic evidence or witness statements.
Based on surveillance video from a nearby business, police say Baker was not at the scene when Moore was shot. Officers say Baker arrived nine minutes after the first 911 call.
Moore’s mom wants to know why Baker’s covering for the actual shooter.
“Antonio was my son and I just don’t understand how any parent can just sit back and say, ‘well I shot him,’ knowing full well they did no such thing,” said Washeta Chatman, Antonio’s mom.
Police are searching for a person of interest who was caught on surveillance leaving the scene. Detectives believe he has information on the shooting.
Tampa Police Chief Castor says Baker knows the person of interest but is not cooperating with detectives.
“There is a relationship between the two of them and we know that they have a child in common,” Castor said. “And we’re trying to get to the bottom of his identity is what we need right now.”
Police say they found a second gun inside the mini-mart but they’re not sure if it was planted or if Moore was actually trying to rob the store.
Police say they’re still trying to figure out a motive and determine exactly what happened inside the store at the time of the shooting.
“We’re trying to determine that as well, the motive for the shooting, exactly what occurred inside of that store and what it was that caused her to cover for this individual,” Castor said.