Misfiring gun stops Manatee pawn shop robbery suspect

May 8, 2013 

— An Ellenton shop owner was pistol-whipped in an attempted robbery Wednesday afternoon, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office. The suspect walked into Fred Vandergraff’s Cortez Coins at 3812 U.S. 301 about 5 p.m., according to Manatee County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Will Kelly. He whacked Vandergraff with his gun and tried three times to shoot him but the gun did not fire. Vandergraff was a able to retrieve his own gun and shot once at the suspect, who fled on foot towards Franklin Avenue, according to witnesses. Emma Bertrand-Dorics, whose family owns the building received a call about 30 minutes after the incident. “I got a call that there were a bunch of police cars and a helicopter,” said Bertrand-Dorics. She said Vandergraff had blood on his clothing from the gun blow to the head. The suspect is said to be a male between the ages of 20 to 30, between 5-foot-8-inches and 6-foot tall, weighing about 185 pounds. He was wearing a black dress shirt.

Jessica De Leon, Law Enforcement Reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.

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