Attempted murder suspects were dropped off, picked up for violent robbery

Published: Apr. 21, 2020 at 10:43 PM EDT
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By: Katie Kaplan | WCTV Eyewitness News

April 21, 2020

LIVE OAK, Fla. (WCTV) -- Investigators from five different law enforcement agencies are working to solve a crime that has shaken a usually quiet neighborhood in Suwannee County.

Members of the Live Oak community were still in shock on Tuesday night,

"There are no words to say. How this can happen? Not only in a small town, but to a man that has been so good to people," said Michelle Liney. "It just didn't need to happen."

Liney has been a customer of Goldleaf Pawn for roughly 15 years. The business, located on U.S. Highway 129 South, was the scene of a brutal crime Monday afternoon when the owner was shot at close range during a robbery.

"These are two very dangerous individuals and we need to get them off the street and locked up before they hurt anyone else," Suwannee County Sheriff Sam St. John told WCTV's Katie Kaplan.

A sign out front advertises the business as a "friendly neighborhood" pawn shop and is nestled between two churches.

The Suwanee County Sheriff's Office released multiple images on it's Facebook page. The agency said they were taken from surveillance video at the business. It shows two people, a black man and a white woman, entering the store together wearing surgical masks and gloves.

"The clerk didn't think anything about it because it's a natural thing to see people wearing masks now," Sheriff St. John said alluding to CDC recommendations during the COVID-19 crisis.

The man is later seen aiming a handgun at something out of the frame. Sheriff St. John declined to say how many times or where the store owner was shot, but confirmed the victim was the store owner. The victim called 911 and was conscious when airlifted to a Gainseville-area hospital, he said.

One of the suspects smashed a jewelry case and made off with some of the merchandise that had been stored inside, said St. John. The actual video of the confrontation has not been released.

After the robbery, investigators canvassed the area up and down the highway and discovered additional surveillance footage. According to St. John, it showed that the suspects were dropped off by a silver sedan just down the road from the pawnshop, before being picked up by the same vehicle afterward.

The Sheriff declined to comment on details regarding a potential third suspect that may have been driving the car.

Meanwhile, the community is concerned about the local business owner and friend.

"We're just worried about him and we want him to pull through," said Liney.

The victim has undergone surgery and was in the Intensive Care Unit Tuesday night, said St. John.

Members of the SCSO, Live Oak Police Department, Florida Highway Patrol, Florida Department of Law Enforcement and ATF are working the case, he said. Anyone who recognizes the suspects is asked to call investigators or make an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers at 386-208-TIPS.

Copyright 2020 WCTV. All rights reserved.

UPDATE: 4/20 1725: We’ve added additional photos of the suspects. ———- UPDATE: 4/20 1453: Suspects are a black...

Posted by Suwannee County Sheriff's Office on Monday, April 20, 2020