An alleged thief was shot to death outside of a South Florida jewelry store after he and three other men attempted to rob a traveling jewelry salesman, according to media reports.
The alleged thieves, believed to be from South America, were also believed to be following Leon Rozio and his partner as they made sales calls, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports. The two salesmen made an unscheduled stop to pick up a payment at St. Moritz Jewelers in Boca Raton.
After his partner went inside the store Wednesday afternoon, Rozio parked. Armed robbers quickly boxed him in with a silver SUV and smashed three windows in Rozio’s Ford Explorer, the newspaper reports.
A robber grabbed the duffel bag filled with more than $100,000 worth of precious stones. He had a black shirt wrapped around his head and face, with only his eyes showing, Rozio said, who with his attorney, Bill Matthewman, described what happened to the newspaper.
Licensed to carry a concealed firearm, Rozio scrambled out of his SUV and fired several shots. The newspaper said his attorney wouldn’t let him detail what happened next, but a robber was fatally wounded.
The robbers tried to speed off in the silver SUV, but they abandoned it as Rozio fired into the vehicle, leaving their wounded accomplice behind, Boca Raton police reportedly said.
That robber, who remained unidentified late Thursday, was taken to Delray Medical Center where he was pronounced dead, police reportedly said. The three other robbers escaped in a silver van.
The Web site of South Florida news station, WPTV Channel 5, released a partial transcript of the 911 call, which the event unfolded.
911 Caller: There’s a shooting at Town Square. The man’s running with a gun. He’s shot three times. He’s a gray haired man with a brown shirt. He shot three times? He’s running towards the Wendy’s right now. He just shot again.. again again.. lots of fire? Still shooting yes he’s still shooting.
911 Caller: He shot somebody in a car he shot the glass out. He’s still shooting he was on foot. What kind of car was person he shot? The car he shot looks like a sport utility a gray.
The television station said the thieves did get away with some jewelry.
Matthewman, told the newspaper that Rozio’s actions fall squarely within a Florida law that allows people to use deadly force to protect themselves and others, or to prevent a violent felony.
A Boca Raton police spokeswoman told the newspaper that investigators will review the shooting to determine if it was justified and present their findings to the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office.