BRADENTON — A man was murdered in east Bradenton early Sunday morning after he apparently confronted a suspect in two home invasion robberies that had occurred moments earlier.
The victim, whose identity was not released Sunday night while his next of kin was being found, may have been a resident of the group of duplexes invaded around 2:30 a.m. Sunday in the 2200 block of 15th Avenue East, near City Meadows Apartments and the U.S. National Guard Armory, said Capt. William Fowler of the Bradenton Police Department.
“We have not yet made an arrest, but it’s an active investigation right now,” Fowler said.
Spanish-speaking Bradenton detectives were still interviewing victims of the home invasions Sunday night at the duplexes, where many Hispanic families live, Fowler said.
The crime spree began when a suspect with a firearm 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 BPD report.
The suspect reportedly ran out of the duplex and committed the same crime 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, the BPD reported.
“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 attempted to track the suspect, but was unsuccessful, the report states.
The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office Countywide Homicide Unit has taken over the investigation, Fowler said.