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PCSO News Release

Media Contact:
Wood, Donna

Public Information Officer 
News Date: 1/16/2015 

 Polk County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Detectives Arrest Chase Road Robbery/Homicide Suspects 

Polk County Sheriff’s Office detectives have arrested 25-year-old Tobarais Hudson, 02/20/1989, and 24-year-old Auban Carter, 05/19/1990, both of Lakeland, charging both in the Home Invasion/Armed Burglary/Homicide that occurred on Sunday, January 11, 2015, on Chase Road in Lakeland. 

As previously reported: at approximately 8:54 pm, on Sunday, January 11, 2015 the Polk County Sheriff's Office received a report of a shooting on Chase Road, in Lakeland. 

When deputies arrived on scene they discovered four victims who had been shot by two unknown armed black males.  

Through the investigation it was learned 10 people were at the residence when the two suspects approached and demanded money and drugs.  A small amount of marijuana was offered to the suspects along with a small amount of money, however detectives believe the suspects thought there would be a large amounts of money and drugs at the residence. 

The victims were forced inside the residence and the suspects became increasingly violent threatening one female with a gun.  Subsequently another victim, 20-year-old Tommy Ussery, stepped between the female and the suspect who then placed a handgun to Tommy’s head.  When the suspect pulled the trigger the gun did not fire.   

Even more agitated, the suspects then used an assault rifle to “spray the house with bullets.”  Ussery was shot three times and is in critical condition at an area hospital.  20-year-old Levi Atkinson attempted to shove the suspects out the door and was shot.  Atkinson is also in critical condition at an area hospital. 

18-year-old Madison Brown was grazed by a bullet and was treated and released. 

Ussery, Atkinson, and Brown all live at the Chase Road residence. 

20-year-old Kody Zawalski, 7118 Odoniel Loop, Lakeland, was struck by the spray of gunfire.  Zawalski is deceased. 

The suspects, who fled north on Chase Road, are described as wearing dark clothing.  Both were wearing dark or black “skull caps,” and both wore bandanas on their faces; one was red and the other was black. 

Through the investigation, detectives developed information linking Carter to a previous shooting incident which occurred inside the city limits of Lakeland.  (For details about that case, please contact LPD.)  Detectives, working with the LPD officers, obtained a warrant for Carter.   

Carter was located at his Audubon Drive residence, along with Hudson and a third subject.  During Carter’s arrest, in plain view, detectives observed a rifle case, a red bandana, and a handgun case. Detectives then obtained a search warrant for the residence where detectives located a SKS Assault rifle (7.62x39) under Carter’s mattress, along with 9mm ammunition.  Evidence found at the Chase Road crime scene included nine 7.62x39 shells and a live 9mm bullet. 

When Hudson was questioned about the incident, he confessed that he and Carter had committed the Burglary on Chase Road during which Kody Zawalski was killed.   

Carter and Hudson were transported to the Polk County Jail. 

Carter is charged with First Degree Murder, 7 counts of Attempted Murder, Armed Burglary of an Occupied Dwelling, and Possession of Firearm by Convicted Felon.  Carter has been in the Polk County jail 7 times previously, he has been in state custody once.  His criminal arrest history includes 9 felonies, 8 misdemeanors, and 1 failure to appear.  His previous crimes include Interference with Custody of Minor, Contributing to the Delinquency of Minor, Knowingly DWLSR, Larceny, Battery, Petit Theft, Resisting, Loitering, Attempted Burglary, Grand Theft, and Burglary charges. 

Hudson is charged with First Degree Murder, 7 counts of Attempted Murder, Armed Burglary of a Dwelling, and Possession of Firearm by Convicted Felon.  Hudson has been in the Polk County jail 9 times previously.  His criminal arrest history includes 3 felonies, 8 misdemeanors, and1 failure to appear.  Hudson’s previous crimes include Resisting, Knowingly DWLSR, Battery, Petit Theft, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Conceal Firearm. 

The investigation is ongoing.