BRADENTON -- A man was shot to death in east Bradenton early Sunday morning after he apparently confronted a suspect in two home invasion robberies that had occurred moments earlier, police said.
The victim, whose identity was not released Sunday night while his next of kin was being notified, may have been a resident of the group of duplexes in the 2200 block of 15th Avenue East where the robberies happened around 2:30 a.m. Sunday, said police Capt. William Fowler.
The duplexes are near City Meadows Apartments and the U.S. National Guard Armory.
"We have not yet made an arrest, but it's an active investigation right now," Fowler said.
Spanish-speaking Bradenton detectives Sunday night were interviewing the home invasion victims at the duplexes, where many Hispanic families live, Fowler said.
The crime spree began when a gunman kicked in the front door to a duplex apartment in the 2200 block of 15th Avenue East and stole $80 and cell phones from the residents at gunpoint, according to a police report.
The gunman ran out of the duplex and committed another robbery next door, stealing $100 in cash and cell phones from the residents.
After the suspect ran two duplexes to the west, he was confronted by the victim and shot him once, killing him instantly, police said.
"We're not sure if the murder victim was one of those who was robbed," Fowler said.
The first officer on the scene, responding to a call for the home invasions, heard the gunshot, the report states.
The suspect ran from the area. The Manatee County Sheriff's Office unsuccessfully tried to track the suspect, the report states.
The Manatee County Sheriff's Office Countywide Homicide Unit has taken over the investigation, Fowler said.
Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7072 or contact him via Twitter@RichardDymond.