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Tampa Police Conduct Statewide Manhunt for Suspected Cop-Killer Dontae Morris

In this 2003 Hillsborough County Jail booking photo, Dontae Rashawn Morris, is said to be a person of interest in the shooting death of two Tampa, Fla., police officers Tuesday, June 29, 2010 in Tampa. AP Photo/Hillsborough County Jail, Ho

Dontae Morris
Dontae Rashawn Morris, in a 2003 booking photo. (AP Photo/Hillsborough County Jail, Ho)

TAMPA, Fla. (CBS/AP) Tampa police are conducting an all-out statewide manhunt for the man they believe to be responsible for the fatal shooting of two of their own. The alleged shooter, Dontae Morris, has been on the run since the June 29 shooting of officers David Curtis and Jeffrey Kocab.

PICTURES: Fallen Heroes

Police say Morris is no stranger to law enforcement, with a criminal record that includes everything from writing bad checks and drug possession to attempted murder.

The incident occurred Tuesday morning during a routine traffic stop when Curtis and Kocab pulled over the car Morris was riding in because it did not have a visible license plate. Morris had outstanding warrants for writing bad checks.

The two officers approached the passenger side of the vehicle and six minutes later a witness called 911 to report they had been shot.

The driver of the car, Cortnee Nicole Brantly, fled the scene but was captured. She was later released from custody. Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor said Brantly may be charged later.

Morris' family asked that he be allowed to turn himself in safely. A pastor for the suspect's family said they do not condone his actions.

Kocab, who had been on the force for 14 months, is survived by a wife who is nine months pregnant.

Curtis, a father of four boys, had nearly four years with the department, including a rotation on an elite vice unit. Doctors were keeping him on life support as they prepared to harvest his organs at the family's request.

Several leads were said to have emerged overnight, and at around 2 a.m. Wednesday, SWAT teams geared up and headed out. Investigators say they interviewed a few persons of interest, but they did not find Morris, according to CBS affiliate WTSP.

A $30,000 reward has been offered in connection with the arrest of Morris - $5,000 by Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay and $25,000 by the FBI. Anyone with information on the shooting or Morris' whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477), go online to make an anonymous report at www.crimestopperstb.com or text "CSTB plus your tip" to CRIMES (274637).

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  • Carlin Miller

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