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Homicide Investigation in Live Oak

By: LOPD Release
By: LOPD Release

Live Oak Police Department Release:

Homicide Investigation
1615 NW Hamilton Avenue
Live Oak, FL. 32064
Monday, 01/03/2010, 11:37pm.

Officers with the LOPD responded to the above address in reference to a 9-1-1 call that there had been a shooting at the residence. On arriving, officers found a victim in the laundry room of the north side of the residence. The victim appeared to have been shot at least once.

During the investigation, it was learned that at least two persons arrived at the residence at 1615 NW Hamilton Avenue, Live Oak, FL. 32964. The two persons arriving at the residence are identified as Robert Bruce Koester, w/m, age 47, of 18610 181st Place, Live Oak, FL. 32960, and Brian Van Auken, w/m, age 22, last known address of 13273 225th Road, Live Oak, FL. 32960.

Investigation reveals an alleged drug/narcotic transaction that started to take place with the resident, Ralph Michael Ortiz, w/m, 52 years of age. Details at this point remain under investigation. A fight broke out between Koester, who was armed with a revolver, and Ortiz, the resident. During the fight, Ortiz’s son, a 16 year old juvenile, Anthony Michael Ortiz, entered the room with a rifle. The juvenile fired at least once striking Koester.

Following the shooting, Van Auken fled from the scene and was later located at another residence on Hamilton Avenue. Van Auken was subsequently charged after a preliminary investigation with Home Invasion Robbery and Felony Murder. He is in custody at the Suwannee County Jail, Live Oak, FL. 32964.

The shooting victim’s remains were sent to the Medical Examiners Office in Jacksonville, FL. to determine the exact cause of death. This investigation is still pending results of lab tests and the Medical Examiner’s Report.


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