Homicide Investigation

***Update as of 02/18/2024 at 5:55 p.m.***

James McKinley Barber, Sr. (Victim – Deceased)
DOB: 02/23/1962
Address: 7981 Smoketree Court, Unincorporated Largo

Wesley Barber (Victim – Deceased)
DOB: 03/15/1961
Address: 252 Mud Hen Drive, Shepherdsville, Kentucky

PINELLAS COUNTY – Detectives assigned to the Robbery/Homicide unit provide an update regarding the double-homicide investigation in Unincorporated Largo.

According to detectives, on Friday, February 16, 2024, deputies assigned to the Patrol Operations Bureau responded to 7981 Smoketree Court to check the welfare of the victims, identified as 61-year-old James McKinley Barber, Sr. (James Sr.) and 62-year-old Wesley Barber, who are brothers, after family members grew concerned due to both failing to show for a family vacation. It was learned Wesley was down visiting James Sr. and James McKinley Barber, Jr. (James Jr.), from Kentucky prior to leaving for the vacation. James Jr. was to stay behind to care for the family dog.

Detectives state after James Sr. and Wesley failed to show, the family members attempted to contact both several times by telephone but were unable to reach them. The family grew more concerned when they went to James Sr.’s residence and observed James Sr.’s vehicle in the driveway with the trunk open. Family members informed detectives they were concerned due to James Jr.’s mental health history and that they knew there was a firearm in the residence.

When deputies arrived, they observed what appeared to be blood coming from under the front door of the residence. Deputies entered the home and located both James Sr. and Wesley deceased, both suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.

Through their investigation, detectives were able to locate surveillance camera audio that captured the murders. At approximately 6:07 a.m., multiple gunshots can be heard. Afterward, a subject who was identified as James Jr. can be heard yelling, “Fuck you. Fuck you. Dead ass don’t give a fuck, bro.”

James Jr. fled the scene before law enforcement arrived.

On February 17, 2024, James Jr. was arrested by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and was transported to the Hillsborough County Jail.

James Jr. is charged with two counts of First-Degree Murder and is pending transfer back to Pinellas County.

Both James Sr. and Wesley’s next of kin have been notified.

The investigation continues.


***UPDATE as of 02/17/2024 at 9:50 a.m.***

James McKinley Barber, Jr. (Suspect – Arrested)
Charges: Two counts of First-Degree Murder

On February 17, 2024, Barber was arrested by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

Barber is being charged with two counts of First-Degree Murder.

The investigation continues. 


***Original Release***

Pinellas County Sheriff's Office
Investigative Operations Bureau
-Robbery/Homicide Unit

James McKinley Barber, Jr. (Suspect)
DOB: 08/16/1995
Address: 7981 Smoketree Court, Unincorporated Largo

PINELLAS COUNTY – Detectives assigned to the Robbery/Homicide Unit are searching for 28-year-old James McKinley Barber, Jr., in connection to a double-homicide investigation at 7981 Smoketree Court in Unincorporated Largo.

Barber was last known to be traveling on foot in the area of 51st Avenue North between Duhme Road and Seminole Boulevard in Seminole.

Barber is described as a white male, 6’02”, approximately 159lbs, with brown hair and brown eyes, last seen wearing a gray sweatshirt with “Tronton” on the front, blue pants, and black sneakers.  

Barber is believed to be armed, but detectives state the incident appears domestic in nature, and there is no indication Barber is a threat to the public.

Anyone with information on this case or Barber’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office at 727-582-6200 or 911.

The investigation continues.

Below are photographs of Barber: 

Posted by David Brenn Friday, February 16, 2024 9:31:00 PM Categories: Death Investigations

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