PALMETTO (WWSB) - Police say a 41-year-old man who forced his way into a Palmetto home and shot a woman multiple times, killing her, was actively being hunted by detectives for a violent altercation with the victim one week prior.
Stephanie McNabb was shot inside a home on the 1100 block of 17th Avenue West around 1am Sunday morning. The 41-year-old was semi-conscious when officers arrived. She was rushed to Blake Medical Center, but despite life-saving efforts, she died.
Police say 41-year-old Flozell Murrell III forced his way into the home and shot McNabb multiple times before struggling with another adult inside the home and then fleeing.
Detectives had already been looking for Murrell for an alleged violent altercation with McNabb one week prior.
Police say that Murrell and McNabb had been a couple for around 25 years and that he was recently released from jail after spending two years for violating probation for domestic battery. He'd been ordered to stay away from McNabb, but they got back together and went to a club in Sarasota on February 2.
Afterwards, they stopped at a 7-Eleven on 301 North and when McNabb returned to the vehicle, police say Murrell lost his temper and accused McNabb of flirting with others in the club. Murrell allegedly grabbed her by the back of the head, punched her and then pistol-whipped her.
Police say Murrell left the 7-Eleven with McNabb and took her to a motel off State Road 64 and I-75, where he held her against her will. Eventually, he left the motel with her and went to a relative's home in Palmetto, where McNabb told her family what happened and Murrell fled and remained at-large.
An arrest warrant for Murrell was issued on February 5 for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment, domestic battery by strangulation, and violation of injunction.
Police didn’t find him before they say he shot and killed McNabb. Murrell was arrested a few hours after the shooting and charged him with first degree murder, attempted murder, burglary, assault, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.