Riverview mom dies, one day after attack

Riverview, FL -- A Riverview mom who was shot and had her throat slashed -- allegedly by her husband -- has died.

Michelle Dukes, 34, passed away late Thursday night. The original attempted murder charge against Keith Dukes has now been upgraded to 2nd Degree Murder with a weapon.

He's currently being held in the Hillsborough County Jail with no bond.

The horrific series of events unfolded on Thursday morning, and deputies say it happened in front of their three daughters.

The Dukes' neighbor, Frank Breden, says he's lucky to be alive.

Breden says he heard screams and ran out of his house at about 7:15 a.m., and found his neighbor, Michelle, standing the street with her throat slashed in the 8000 block of Van Fleet Road.

Moments later, Breden found himself staring down the barrel of a gun.

"This man was three feet away from me, if that. I heard the click," said Breden.

The gun jammed.

"You need to get out of here," Keith Dukes then says to Breden, according to an arrest affidavit.

Dukes then pointed the gun at another neighbor who had come outside after hearing the screams. But Michelle's husband reloaded, says Breden, and shot Michelle right in front of the couple's three daughters. Breden found Michelle inside a neighbor's home where she had tried to run for safety.

"She was slumped over behind the door," he said. "And I literally had to get down on my knee to feel her pulse. And she was just barely there."

Interview: Frank Breden recounts ordeal

One of the daughters emerged from the house where her mother lay bleeding. In shock, Breden says, she handed him the gun and said plainly, "He shot her."

Breden says he then followed Keith Dukes, who threatened to get another gun. Minutes later, deputies arrived and captured Dukes as he tried, they say, to get away in the Alafia River.

"He was actually in the water, and one of our deputies had to go down into the water and take him into custody," said Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee.

Gee says they were looking for friends or relatives in the area who could take care of the three sisters, who were uninjured, but undoubtedly scared.

Neighbor Margaret Carlisle was concerned for the little girls, who would ride their bikes through the neighborhood.

"It's terrifying to think what the children witnessed. I have 10 grandchildren, and think of what would happen if that were my grandchildren. And the terror they would see, the memories they will have, for the rest of their life," said Carlisle.

In addition to second-degree murder, Keith Dukes also faces charges of aggravated assault with a firearm and two counts of armed burglary of an occupied dwelling.

Hillsborough County deputies said Michelle and Keith Dukes were legally married, but were separated and had been in an argument.


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