MANATEE — The horrible news came early this morning for 82-year-old Cecil Mae Taylor that she had lost her youngest child and grandson in a chaotic home invasion.
Taylor learned of the death of her daughter, 43-year-old Patricia White, just moments after the 11:45 p.m. shooting in the 3900 block of Third Avenue Drive East, Palmetto, that not only left White dead, but also her 22-year-old son Clarence Jerome White, who authorities believe committed suicide during the attack.
“She was my baby, my youngest,” said Taylor, who lives a couple of blocks from her daughter’s duplex. “I want whoever did this caught.”
Taylor sat in a chair in front of her house with a cane rested in her lap, as she sifted through photograps of her daughter and grandson.
The family called him C.J., said Felecia Bellamy, Patricia White’s best friend and C.J.’s godmother.
“She loved her kids so much. She was just an old-fashioned girl, not flashy, just a good person. I have known her all my life. We played hop scotch together,” Bellamy said, crying. “And C.J. loved his mama. If it is true what they say, it wouldn’t surprise me he couldn’t live without her.”
The late night shooting startled awake a neighborhood that neighbors say is normally quiet.
“I have been here for more than a year and never had a problem,” said Eric Fowler, who lives a few doors down from the Whites. “And they were always nice people, waving to me, they put out my trash for me a couple of times when I was away. I don’t know what to think about this right now.”
The Whites were also very good tenants, according to duplex owner Keith Amon.
“I never had a problem with them. They kept their lawn mowed, and I even had other neighbors tell me how much they liked them, which is pretty rare for a tenant to say about another,” said Amon. “This is so out of the blue. I have owned these properties for 30 years, and this neighborhood has always been quiet.”