Memorial To The Three Officers That Lost Their Lives In The Line Of Duty...

Tuesday, May 19, 1998...many residents in the state of Florida were glued to their TV's as they watched the story of Hank Carr unfold.

It began 10 am Tuesday morning when Hank Carr's son, Joseph Bennett was playing with a high-powered rifle that was left in his Carr's care.

The 33 yr old took the rifle away from the 4 yr old..and claimed that the butt hit the wall and went off...shooting his son through the face. Carr then rushed his son to a Fire Station where the child died....

Carr then rushed back to his house to check on his daughter, who had been left with the neighbors....when arriving..he found Cops and Detectives there..waiting to question him.

Carr then fled...started running...Policemen and Detectives found it suspicous and handcuffed him to take him to the police station for questioning.

(Suspect Hank Carr)

Carr claims that the detectives continued calling him a liar over and over....trying to get him to confess that he purposely shot this helpless 4 yr old through his face.

Later that afternoon, Rick Childers and Randy Bell, the two homicide detectives involved...took Carr back to the scene..and asked him to show exactly what happened... Carr said they were still calling him a liar. They then handcuffed him again...and put him back in the car...ready to take him back to the court house....Childers placed the, now unloaded rifle in the trunk of the vehicle. Not knowing that only minutes later, his life would be taken by this psychologically troubled man with no conscience.

(Above you see the suspect, Carr..and Childers carrying the rifle)

As Childers and Bell headed toward the Court House....Carr had gotten one arm free from his handcuffs....he reached to the front grabbed Bell's Pistol, shot Bell... then as Childers tried to climb the seat to wrestle him back into his handcuffs, he also shot Childers...fataly killing both Detectives. Carr then jumped from the vehicle....opened the trunk..pulled his rifle out... ran to the white truck that a Man was driving behind them...at gun point he ordered older gentleman out of his Truck...Carr then headed North on I-75...with no idea of where he was going.

He put up a chase for quite some time....Police shooting at him....trying to get him to pull over....they shot his tires out..."They (police) were shooting at me every underpass I went under.... almost making me wreck the vehicle two times" Carr claimed.

This was then that the 23-yr old Highway Patrol Rookie Trooper, James Crooks was shot and killed....Neither Carr..nor Policeman explained why the Killing of Crooks happened.. but during this time...a helicopter was also sprayed with bullets....along with an 18-wheeler.

Then Carr...pulled off at a Shell Station...running inside..and taking 27yr old Stephanie Kramer hostage until his wife showed.

(Shell station located off of SR. 50 and I-75)

He then called a local radio station (WFLA)...and tried explaining his part of the story...the DJ asked him to let the helpless hostage go...and he refused..saying that she would not be hurt in any way...and that she would be let go..when his wife arrived.

The station was surrounded with Policemen, Detectives, SWAT and Media teams...trying to find out what method of madness lied inside this phsycho-path's mind... But no one could figure him out. So many questions...so little time...he then released Kramer and handed her a key that he carried around his neck on a chain. He asked her to give it to the detectives and tell them that it was the key to unlock his handcuffs. (It was later to be found out as a $2 Universal handcuff key).

(Hostage, Stephanie Kramer running for safety)

When Kramer was to safety...SWAT moved in with their tear gas explosions...throwing two tear gas bombs inside..trying their hardest to lure the young gunman out.

(Explosion inside Station)

Carr did not leave the station....SWAT ran in.....only to find....the last victim of this phsycho-path's destruction....Hank Earl Carr himself. He had shot himself...taking his own life....taking the easy way out...and now leaving behind not only the grieving family members and widows of these three officers...but grieving residents also.

Now the Highway Patrol Station in Pasco Co...and the Tampa Police Department...lay smothered in flowers and other items for the four pre-maturely lives taken. Dick Greco, our Mayor stood in front of the world today and claimed "I have never in my life seen such a outpouring of love and support as I have for these two officers and relatives."

Now the entire Tampa Bay area mourns for these lives...Let us all take this time now and pray for these three couragious men who died serving their community...for without people like this...our lives would be always in danger and we would live our lives in fear.

In Memory of:

Rick Childers 1952-1998 (serving his community for 19 years since 1979)

Randy Bell 1954-1998 (serving his community for 21 years since 1977)

James Crookes 1975-1998 (serving his community for less then one year since 1997)

Funeral arrangements as follows:

Rick Childers and Randy Bell: Saturday, May 23, 1998 at 10am at the Tampa Convention Center..open to public.

James Crooks: Friday, May 22, 1998 at 3pm...in Clewiston...private only..for personal friends and family.

To Our Men and Women in uniform...past, present, and future...God Bless you and Thank you.

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This page was completed on May 20, 1998...

Memorial Researched and Written by Marlana Glaeser

A Special Thanks to Beth and LaVerne for their contributions to this memorial.

We would love for everyone to display the button below on their personal pages....and link it to this site!! Thanks so much...

LaVerne Hanson is responsible for the making of this very special button...

This site was recently announced on News Channel 8....A local News Station in Florida...