OLDSMAR, Florida -- An 18-year-old has been charged with first degree murder after Pinellas County detectives say he admitted to shooting his mother and her boyfriend with a 12-gauge shotgun.
Investigators say 18-year-old Benjamin Bishop called 911 after the shooting, and was standing in the doorway of his home on Cedar Key Ct., prepared to surrender, when deputies arrived. His mother, Imari Shibata, and her boyfriend, Kelly Allen, were found dead inside the home.
Shibata was a nurse, and had recently graduated from nursing school at St. Petersburg College. Kelley Allen was a popular swim coach at the Westchase Community Association. Bishop had attended Tarpon Springs High School, but had not completed his education there.
Bishop told detectives the shooting, which happened around 1:30 a.m., was triggered by a series of arguments that occurred the day before. "His mother told him yesterday he needed to make sure he was taking his medication, needed to get a job, and had to start paying rent," said Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri. "Apparently, Benjamin became very upset because he didn't like the medication. He felt the medication was killing him, so he decided that he was going to kill his mother and her live-in boyfriend."
Bishop has schizophrenia, and was previously addicted to bath salts. He completed a 10-month inpatient rehabilitation program about a month ago. When he returned home, he told detectives, his mom removed all knives from the kitchen because she was still concerned about his behavior.
To buy the shotgun, Bishop apparently pawned electronics. He couldn't buy the gun himself because he was still on probation from an incident last year where he was charged with trying to strangle his mother. He allegedly asked a friend to get it for him to help him protect himself from gang members. Police say the friend bought the gun for $279 at a local shop a couple of weeks ago.
Bishop hid the gun in the attic of his Oldsmar home until a few days ago, when he brought it down to his bedroom dresser. He told detectives that while Shibati and Allen were in bed, he shot them each with four rounds, then reloaded and fired four more rounds.
According to the Sheriff's Office, deputies have responded to the home several times since 2006.
Neighbors watching the crime scene unfold say they were shocked to hear what happened. Several say they heard Bishop had been dealing with mental illness and substance abuse, but that the family was nice and kept to themselves.