CLEARWATER (FOX 13) - Police in Clearwater say a mother opened fire on two car thieves Monday night, leaving one of them dead. Now, his teenaged companion faces charges.
Jernalen Coleman, 17, and Lasupta Singletary, 18, had been in trouble with the law before. Police say the two brought guns Monday night to a bank parking lot at Belcher and Bellair in Clearwater. They had arranged to meet the woman and her 18-year-old son to by a car from them, but instead, police say, they pulled guns and took the son's car.
As they drove away, police say the woman pulled her own gun and fatally wounded Singletary.
Now, police say there are lots of questions, including: Was the woman justified in shooting the teens who were leaving in her son's car?
"There's no speculation that she fired a weapon in the course of an armed robbery. The timeline is going to be critical in determining when that shot was fired and what the threat was at the point the shot was fired," said Deputy Clearwater Police Chief Eric Gandy.
Police aren't releasing many details, like how many guns they recovered or just how far they believe the teens had driven before the shot rang out.
"What they'll be doing is looking at surveillance videos, talking to witnesses to see when that shot was fired, how far the vehicle was when the shot was fired to determine if self-defense is actually a valid defense here," said Anthony Rickman, a criminal defense attorney not affiliated with the case.
FOX 13 went to the home of the woman who did the shooting, Louise Ornduff, but there was a note on the door saying "No comment, do not disturb."
Police say the state attorney's office will determine if charges will be brought against Ornduff.
The surviving teen, Jernalen Coleman, is charged with armed robber and second-degree murder because police say he was committing a felony when Singletary was killed.