Police: Witnesses, evidence link home invasion suspect to slaying of Bradenton man

jdeleon@bradenton.comOctober 10, 2013 

BRADENTON -- Police reports connect a 26-year-old bus driver for the Manatee County School District to the two home invasion robberies that preceded the fatal shooting of an East Bradenton man.

Police say they are processing more evidence before deciding whether to charge the suspect with the homicide.

Ronnie Bundrage was arrested at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday and charged with two counts of home invasion robbery. He has not been charged with the death of Juan Medina, but investigators indicated in court documents an eyewitness said the same man who committed the home invasions shot Medina to death after the robberies.

An arrest warrant affidavit details how investigators were able to connect Bundrage to the home invasions. His cell phone was found at the scene of one of the robberies, according to the affidavit.

Investigators wrote in the affidavit: "It appeared the perpetrator of the murder ... had committed the two back-to-back home invasions."

Bradenton police answered an abandoned 911 call at 2:24 a.m. Sunday from an address on 15th Avenue East, according to the report. While on the way, police received information about a home invasion in the 2200 block of 15th Avenue East.

Once they arrived, one of the officers reportedly heard a single shot to the immediate west of the residence and ran in that direction. They found Medina unresponsive and bleeding from the head.

A witness told police he saw the shooting but also had been pistol-whipped. The witness described the shooter and told police "a black knit cap found near the deceased victim belonged to the perpetrator and further stated that it fell off the perpetrator's head during the perpetrator's struggle with the deceased victim."

In addition to witness statements, investigators reportedly found a .40-caliber bullet casing near Medina's body, and later recovered a .40-caliber handgun case from Bundrage's home about two blocks away.

A cell phone located just outside one of the homes was also traced to Bundrage.

Detectives are processing additional evidence before deciding whether to charge Bundrage with additional crimes, according to the report.

Funeral plans have been set for Juan Enrique Medina, the 49-year-old East Bradenton man slain early Sunday morning.

A viewing will be held from 5-9 p.m. Friday in the chapel at Horizon of Hope Missions, 512 Palm View Road, Palmetto, Ivan Medina, the victim's son, announced Thursday.

A Mass followed by a burial across the street will be held at the same location beginning at noon Saturday, Medina said.

Richard Dymond, law enforcement reporter, also contributed to this report.

Jessica De Leon, law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can be reached @JDeleon1012.

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