Customer at Internet cafe shoots 2 robbers
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Two men who attempted to hold up an Internet cafe were shot and
injured by a patron of the business Friday night, according to the
Marion County Sheriff's Office.
Sheriff's officials said
they got a call at 9:54 p.m. about an armed robbery at Palms Internet
Cafe, 8444 SW State Road 200. When deputies arrived at the scene,
patrons outside the business told them that two men in masks — one armed
with a baseball bat and the other with a handgun — had barged into the
business. The robbers told the approximately 30 patrons to get on the
floor, and they demanded money.Officials
said one of the patrons, Samuel Williams, drew his own handgun and shot
at the robbers, according to sheriff's officials.Both robbers began
running toward the front door, and the patron fired several more shots
as they fled.
The two men got into a car parked nearby and fled.
long afterward, deputies got a call about two men at a Marion Oaks
residence who were telling people there that they had been shot while at
Scott Carrigan Baseball Park on Southeast 17th Street in Ocala. Police
Department officers went to the ball field but found no evidence of a
shooting there, according to sheriff's officials.The
two men were transported — one by helicopter — to Shands at the
University of Florida in Gainesville. The Sheriff's Office identified
them as Davis G. Dawkins and Duwayne Henderson, both 19. Dawkins has a
Dunnellon address. His alleged accomplice has an Ocala address,
said.Dawkins had a superficial wound in his left arm, but Henderson was
shot in two places: his left buttock and his right hip
Locally, neither of the men have a criminal record, authorities said.
feel horrible. It doesn't feel good. It makes you think about life's
decisions, and how you should live your life,” Henderson said in an
interview with the Star-Banner at the jail on Saturday afternoon.Hours
after his release from the hospital, Henderson, who talked about the
pain he feels in his buttock and hip, said the plan was to “barge in,
get the money and leave.” He said “he never expected anyone to be
armed.”“The gun was broken and rusty and wasn't loaded. Nobody was going to get hurt,” he said, standing with crutches.
the customers' phones was what he said was their “main priority.” That
way, he said, the customers could not call law enforcement officials.Henderson
theorizes the reason why he was caught off guard is because, when
Dawkins entered the business, he busted a computer monitor with the
baseball bat and “glass got into his face.”“He couldn't warn me,” Henderson said.
the glass temporarily blinding his friend, Henderson noticed two women
were behind the counter and he thought that was “fishy.” Turning around
to see what the women were doing, Henderson said he was shot.“I
turned around to run and my leg gave out. That was when I got shot. I
hit the ground, and he was still shooting. I thought I was going to
die,” Henderson said.Henderson said that, “by the grace of God,” his “leg came back.”
“I ran,” he said.
Henderson said he and Dawkins drove to a house to see a woman he said “is like a second mother” to him
At the Marion Oaks residence
in the 13000 block of Southwest 47th Terrace, deputies found what they
believe was the getaway vehicle, a four-door black Nissan Sentra. The
car was towed to the Sheriff's Office for processing.“I
couldn't breathe. I had lost so much blood. I don't know what she did,
but she revived me,” he said, likening the experience to coming back
from the dead.The occupants inside the home called law enforcement, he said.
the scene in Marion Oaks, a deputy and an evidence technician searched a
large open grassy area across the street for evidence, which was
collected and placed in brown paper bags.None of the residents or visitors there wanted to talk with a Star-Banner reporter.
the Internet cafe, investigators collected a .45-caliber handgun they
was carried by Henderson, which he confirmed in his interview.Henderson
was charged with attempted robbery with a firearm and felony criminal
at the hospital, Dawkins admitted to Detective Erik Dice that he took
part in the robbery, according to sheriff's officials. The young man
said he had the bat, which had been in his vehicle. Dawkins told the
detective he was confronted by two people at the ball field and forced
to assist in the robbery.Officials said Dawkins previously had worked for the cafe but had been fired.
was arrested for attempted robbery with a firearm and felony criminal
mischief and taken to the Marion County Jail. He declined to be
interviewed by a reporter.Henderson
said he met Dawkins through a mutual friend about four or five months
ago, and that he usually hangs out at Dawkins' Dunnellon residence.Because
Dawkins used to work at the cafe, Henderson said Dawkins told him there
was “a lot of money there.” Both of them, he said, gathered the gun and
bat for the robbery attempt.He said he went to Dawkins' place around 8 p.m. Friday night, where the plan was hatched.
Their actions frightened the customers at the Internet cafe.
“It was scary,” said Kristy Kuhn, a customer. “It wasn't my idea of a good Friday night.”
said she had been sitting in the second row playing a game and heard
loud noises and voices yelling, telling them to “put our wallets out and
get on the ground,” Kuhn said.A few seconds after that, she heard gunshots. Kuhn said she hid underneath a desk.
Ruth and Neville Allison, also patrons of the Internet cafe, said they saw the incident unfold.
said the robbers — one with a gun and the other with what looked like a
bat wrapped in white tape — entered from the parking lot.The
robber with the bat smashed one of the computers, the couple said. Then
the robbers ordered everybody to get down on the ground and take out
their wallets and whatever valuables they had.Williams
— who declined to be interviewed — was sitting in the row nearest the
door. He immediately took out his handgun, took aim and started firing,
Allison said the two robbers then tumbled out the door. The robber with
the gun may have dropped his weapon, he said. Williams told Dice he was
at the Internet cafe with his wife and was afraid the suspects were
going to shoot somebody. He told the detective he was scared and that he
began shooting at the men.Early
Saturday morning, the business and its parking lot had been roped off
with crime scene tape. Numbered evidence markers were outside next to
a plastic bag and a blue bag.Also outside the Internet cafe and in
front of neighboring businesses were numerous smaller markers to
indicate drops of blood.
the Internet cafe, a chair had been knocked over and a few more of the
larger markers could be seen. The manager of the cafe declined to
comment.Though Henderson said he
doesn't blame Williams for shooting, he takes exception with Williams
shooting at him while he was down.“I was down, and I'm not going to continue to shoot you,” he said.
UPDATE. The Internet cafe patron who shot and injured two men as they tried to
rob the business will likely not face any criminal charges.“Based on what I have seen and what I know at this time, I don’t
anticipate filing any charges,” said Bill Gladson of the State
Attorney’s Office.Gladson said he has reviewed the security surveillance video from the
cafe. While he still awaits final reports from the Marion County
Sheriff’s Office, he said the shooting appeared justified.Samuel Williams, 71, who
fired the shots, has a concealed weapons permit, according to the
Sheriff’s Office. Under Florida law, a person is allowed to use deadly
force if he or she fears death or serious injury to themselves or
others. As long as the person isn’t committing a crime and is in a place
where he or she has a right to be, they are considered to be acting
within the law.Williams,
who lives in Ocala, could not be reached for comment on Monday. But at
one of his 30 fellow patrons at the cafe wants to thank him.“I think he
is wonderful. If he wouldn’t have been there, there could have been
some innocent people shot,” said Mary Beach.
Beach was sitting in with her back to the door Friday night and didn’t realize what was happening until she heard shots.
“I heard pop, pop; then pop, pop, pop, all at once,” she said. “In the confusion I never really got to see his (Williams) face.”
video of the incident was released on Monday by the Sheriff’s Office.
It shows two masked men entering the Palms Internet Cafe, 8444 SW State
200, just before 10 p.m. Friday. One of the men had a gun.Williams was
seated toward the back of the cafe dressed in a white shirt, shorts and
of the masked men, identified as Duwayne Henderson, 19, comes in
pointing a handgun at customers. The second man, Davis Dawkins, 19, is
seen swinging a bat at something off screen, which was later identified
as a $1,200 computer screen.As
Henderson turns his back, Williams pulls out a .380-caliber
semi-automatic handgun, stands from his chair, takes two steps, nearly
drops to one knee, and fires two shots at Henderson, who bolts for the
front door.Williams takes
several more steps toward the door and continues firing as Henderson
and Dawkins fall over one another trying to exit the building. The two
eventually run off screen.Both
men were shot by Williams. Their wounds were not life-threatening. Each
was arrested hours later and charged with attempted armed robbery with a
firearm and felony criminal mischief.Henderson
remained in the Marion County Jail late Monday in lieu of a $31,000
bond. Dawkins was released Sunday after posting an $11,000 bond.Internet
cafes are regulated by the state. They offer sweepstakes entries, which
are used to buy time on computer terminals that simulate casino-style
games. The operations, which have sprung up around the county
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