Manatee sheriff's office investigates home invasion

jdeleon@bradenton.comMay 31, 2013 

MANATEE -- Deputies responded to a reported home invasion Friday afternoon, arresting two suspects in an incident that forced the lockdown of several businesses along Cortez Road, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

One victim was shot and taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to a news release.

Deputies responded to the call at 1:10 p.m. from the 3900 block of 75th Street West in the Vista at Palma Sola Apartments, where a 35-year-old man and 20-year-old woman said they arrived home to find the two suspects inside.

An altercation occurred and one of the suspects fired a gun. The male victim was injured during the struggle and taken to a local hospital.

The two male suspects fled on 75th Street West.

Shortly afterward, the two suspects approached a man working out in his lawn and attempted to steal his vehicle.

Deputies located and arrested Andre Romilus, 19, and Johnny Blanc, 21, in the 6600 block of Cortez Road.

"We have two males in custody but they are not charged in connection," with the incident at the apartment complex, Bristow said. "They are being charged with attempted carjacking for right now."

Other charges are pending.

"The connection between the victims and suspects is unclear at this time but detectives do not believe this was a random incident," the news release said.

Local businesses were affected briefly during the search for the suspects.

"We were blanketing that entire area," Bristow said.

At the Anna Maria Oyster Bar at 6696 Cortez Road, owner John Horne said they were ordered to lock down their restaurant.

"I saw two cruisers come flying into the parking lot," Horne said. "We walked out back to see what was

going on."

A K-9 officer came around to the back and advised him to get back inside and keep everyone inside, according to Horne.

He was told deputies were trying to apprehend two armed suspects.

"So we locked down," Horne said. "We advised them not to leave."

The lockdown lasted about 15 minutes.

Jessica De Leon, law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.

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