ST. PETERSBURG — An arrest has been made in connection with Tuesday’s double homicide in Midtown on St. Petersburg’s southside.
Charles Edward Hixon Jr., 30, faces two counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of Cheryl Lee Casey, 58 and Kenneth Lee Shook, 35, police said.
The two were killed early Tuesday, police said. According to the St. Petersburg police, a woman flagged down an officer who was on their way to work around 7:30 that morning. The officer found Shook and Casey’s bodies near a green pickup truck in an alley of 14th Avenue S., just west of 16th Street.
Residents in the area said they’d heard shots much earlier, between 3:30 and 4 a.m.
"It was about 20 minutes to four," Vincent Williams said Tuesday. "I heard five or six shots. Then it went again, five more."
Police Wednesday confirmed the causes of death were gunshot wounds. According to Hixon’s arrest report, he allegedly shot Casey and Shook with a handgun, then robbed them. Police on Tuesday said the case had "drug overtones." The events leading to the shooting have not been made available. Police said Hixon was "observed before, during and after the murder."
Residents who live in the area said Casey and Shook were unfamiliar, but had been seen around for a few days.
"They’ve been around here all week," Williams said. "Some strange people."
The killing left many locals shaken.
"I’m sick and tired that every time I turn around there’s a murder in the area," Starlette Clark said.
Clark’s 17-year-old son was shot and killed three years ago and his father was stabbed to death in April. Both killings also happened in Midtown.
Hixon, who police described as homeless, is currently awaiting trial in Pinellas County jail. Records show he has been in prison twice, a six-year stint for robbery and drug charges and one year for falsifying insurance information.
Times staff writer Suhuana Hussain contributed to this report.
Contact Daniel Figueroa IV at [email protected] Follow @danuscripts.