Jeweler shoots robber to death in failed heist

The son of a jewelry store owner shot and killed a robber Wednesday after four men forced their way into the family store in Pompano Beach, Fla., shot at the son and pointed a gun to his father’s head, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.

Broward Sheriff’s Office officials say two robbers were armed, and those who survived escaped empty-handed. None of the victims inside—the son, his wife, father, and one employee of Jewelry Francy’s store—were hurt, the newspaper reports.

Deputies on Thursday identified the suspect shot and killed as Jamel Shelton, 20, of Pompano Beach, the newspaper reports.

BSO spokesman Jim Leljedal said Shelton had been arrested no less than 12 times as an adult on charges that included theft, burglary, trespassing, carrying a firearm, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, auto theft, obstruction, driving without a license, driving with a suspended license, possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine, and violation of probation, the newspaper reports.

Family members told police the four men were seen casing the store last week.

“They were here a couple of days ago,” Maggie Guido, the owner’s daughter, reportedly said. “I guess they scoped out the place before they attempted to rob it.”

Those who were in the store declined to comment to the newspaper, but Tomas Mata, a friend and neighboring business owner in the Cypress Village West Shopping Center on Southwest Sixth Street, sat with them as they told homicide detectives what happened, the newspaper reports. According to Mata, here’s how events unfolded:

The father and owner of the store, Alfredo “Rafael” Guido, was buzzing in a client Wednesday morning when one of four masked men stuck his foot in the door, Mata reportedly said. Guido’s daughter-in-law, Francisca, screamed as the men forced their way into the store and his son, Meliton, grabbed a 9-mm handgun from under the counter and hid behind the cash register.

Then one of the four men pointed a gun at the father’s head.

The other armed man saw the son hiding with a gun. That man fired at the son, who fired back. The robber missed, and the son’s bullet hit a different masked man who was not armed.

The son reportedly yelled to his father, “Quick, jump behind the counter because they’re going to kill you!” Guido did so, and the robbers then tried to run from the store — but couldn’t because the store door had closed and only way to leave was to be buzzed out. The son hit the buzzer, allowing the four men to flee. The man who had been shot collapsed, bleeding, in front of the store while the others escaped. Maricela Deboissiere, who works in an accounting office next to the jewelry store, had seen two men in a green car looking at the store earlier in the day. From her office, she reportedly said she heard a “pop” and sounds of a struggle, the newspaper reports.

“Another guy walked outside and said, `There’s a body over here! Call 911!'” Deboissiere reportedly said. It was the passenger in the green car she had earlier seen cruising the parking lot.

Business owner Michael Anderson also ran outside. He says he saw one man run away from the store and another speed off in a car. He did not see a third man, the newspaper reports.

Paramedics arrived and rushed the injured man to North Broward Medical Center, where he died, the newspaper reports. The sheriff’s office did not release his name until they had notified his next of kin.

Officials later found a green Pontiac Grand Prix abandoned in a nearby residential neighborhood at the 200 block of Northwest 14th St. and impounded it as possible evidence, the newspaper reports. The car’s owner, a Margate resident, said it had been stolen earlier that morning from a local repair shop.

In addition to tracking down the suspects, Broward Sheriff’s spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright reportedly said detectives will be comparing the details of Wednesday’s robbery with a recent string of jewelry thefts in South Florida.