2 dead, 4 arrested after Florida crime spree
HAINES CITY, Fla. (AP) — Four suspects were arrested Friday for a crime spree that started with a pawn shop robbery, led to a shootout with a police officer and ended with the killings of a 72-year-old woman and her daughter.
Michael Gordon, 34, was charged Friday with two counts of first-degree murder. He also was charged with armed robbery and attempted murder on a law enforcement officer, along with 22-year-old Devonere McCune, 25-year-old Jovan Lamb and 29-year-old Terrell Williams.
Detectives were still determining if there was a prior relationship between the suspect and the two murder victims, Patricia Moran, and her 51-year-old daughter, Deborah Royal.
“We don’t know yet,” Polk County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Carrie Horstman said in an email.
The crime spree began Thursday evening with a robbery at an Auburndale pawn shop. Witnesses reported that three men wearing hoodies robbed the store while one man waited outside in a red GMC Jimmy.
Polk County Sherriff Grady Judd said an officer in nearby Haines City spotted the vehicle and when he attempted to pull it over the suspects started firing at the officer’s patrol car from their SUV. The officer was not injured.
The vehicle eventually became stuck in some sand and all four men ran. Authorities caught up with McCune when he was bitten by a Sheriff’s Office K-9.
A short time later, officers learned from a resident about suspicious activity at a neighbor’s house.
When authorities surrounded the house, a blue car came barreling out of the garage, straight at them. Judd said officers fired “many times.” The vehicle went a short distance before it also got stuck in sand. Gordon was the only person in the car and he was arrested. He suffered gunshot wounds and bites from a K-9. His injuries were not life-threatening.
Officers then found the bodies of Moran and Royal inside the house.
Later Friday morning, authorities arrested Lamb and Williams.
Deputies found Williams under a tarp in a shed in the backyard of a nearby home. Lamb was caught earlier walking a backyard. Moments earlier, one of the men had knocked on the door of a woman’s home, claiming to be a police officer. When the woman saw through a glass door it wasn’t an officer, and when the man asked to use her phone, she shut the door and called 911.