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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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 5, 2011 at 09:57 PM
    Bryan not Brian,as the newspaper printed;just turned 21 a week ago,not 22 as the newspaper printed.His ehnicity is White/Caucasian.He did not rob anyone ever!Does not,has never, had any type of run in with the law or anyone else!He called 911.Quit with the blah,blah,blah running from a loose lip.Proud supporter of Bryan and his family!
  • by Anonymous on Jan 5, 2011 at 08:19 PM
    exactly why marijuana should be legal. take the small time dealers out. in california they have secure distributing places. this has never happend there...
  • by randi Location: LO on Jan 5, 2011 at 04:32 PM
    First of all if u dont kno bryan u shouldnt be leavin a comment, no he isnt the same person who robbed an old lady so get your facts straight, bryan is a good guy and would never have part in somethin like that---he is innocent and i have his back all the way--jus sayin..
  • by knows shooter's family on Jan 5, 2011 at 11:18 AM
    Squeaky clean record but is buying marijuana..O.k! What is the ethnicity of the 22 year old??
  • by knows family on Jan 5, 2011 at 06:38 AM
    Bryan Van Auken did not rob anybody!He has a squeaky clean record.This is not some racial proflic case it is a marijuana buy gone array!
  • by Anonymous Location: LIVE OAK FL on Jan 5, 2011 at 04:25 AM
    WELL ISN'T VANAUKEN THE SAME GUY THAT ROBBED A BLACK LADY IN THE SAME AREA DAYS BEFORE AND THE COPS SAID THE VANUKEN WASN'T THAT KIND OF GUY AND NOW HE'S IN ANOTHER ROBBERY WITH A MURDER CHARGE...WELL IT IS NOT JUST BLACK ON BLACK CRIMES ANY MORE.VANUKEN IS NOT INNOCENT HE IS JUST AS GULITY AS THE SHOOTER.
  • by - Location: - on Jan 4, 2011 at 06:46 PM
    VanAuken is completely innocent!! He did not arrive with the other man! He had no clue the other man was going to try the robbery!
  • by Anonymous on Jan 4, 2011 at 02:31 PM
    NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! Not another murder in little ol' Live Oak. Maybe they should stop selling liquor there...oh wait.
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