Five months after an early-morning altercation between two drivers ended with a deadly shooting on a road in Boot Ranch, the investigation into the death of 30-year-old East Lake resident Brandon Baker continues, and his family is waiting for the outcome.
State Attorney Bernie McCabe's office is investigating the March 6 shooting, which a Pinellas County Sheriff's detective had told Baker's father appeared to be a "stand your ground" case. The controversial Florida law allows people to protect themselves when they have a reasonable fear for their lives.
The man who shot Brandon Baker is a 23-year-old security guard named Seth Browning, authorities say. Browning was off-duty at the time of the shooting and told detectives he followed Baker to get his license tag information because he was concerned about his driving. Baker, who was unarmed, was shot and killed during the confrontation that happened on a road leading to Baker's apartment. Browning says he fired when Baker allegedly hit him and continued to go after him after he sprayed Baker with mace .
The case was turned over to the state attorney's office in April. As of Thursday afternoon, a spokesperson for McCabe's office says the case is still under investigation.
Shortly after the shooting, Browning was placed on administrative leave from his job at Largo-based Critical Intervention Services (CIS). On Thursday, a spokesperson for CIS told East Lake Patch that Browning is back at work.
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Brandon Baker's family is still coping with their loss. On Thursday, Baker's father, Kevin Lindsay, told East Lake Patch that Brandon's mother Bonnie still gets choked up when she talks about Brandon, and that healing will be a long process.
Baker also explained what he knows about the investigation into his son's death: "It is kind of up to what Bernie McCabe is going to do."
Lindsay said he is unsure whether Browning will be charged in connection with his son's death.
"They don't have a whole lot to stand on to convict him," he said. "There's not a whole lot of evidence to support that he did anything wrong."
Lindsay was not happy to learn that his son's killer was back on the job.
"It doesn't feel good to know that the guy who shot my son has his gun back and is back at work," he said.