BRADENTON -- A 26-year-old bus driver for the Manatee County School District has been charged with committing two home invasion robberies that preceded the fatal shooting of an East Bradenton man early Sunday.
Ronnie C. Bundrage Jr. was arrested Tuesday but has not been charged in the death of Juan Enrique Medina.
"Detectives are continuing their investigation of this incident and further charges may be forthcoming," Bradenton police said in a news release.
Bundrage is being held at Manatee County jail on bonds totaling $200,000 on two counts of armed home invasion robbery, according to the jail website.
Police say Medina, a 49-year-old father of four, was shot to death about 2:30 a.m. Sunday when he and another man confronted a gunman who had just committed two robberies at duplex apartments in the 2200 block of 15th Avenue East.
The masked assailant, who robbed residents of cash and cell phones, pistol-whipped Medina's friend and then shot Medina in the head, killing him instantly, according
Medina's 22-year-old son, Ivan, said investigators told him they recovered a ski mask near where Medina was shot. He said the news has given his family some peace knowing a suspect is in custody.
"That's a good thing, but that would never replace what we lost," said Ivan, who, along with his family, will bury his father Saturday. "There's no way we can replace him."
Ivan said he had seen Bundrage around the neighborhood before, but did not know him personally.
"Yeah, I knew who he was," Ivan said remembering being cordial to him while walking home. "There's no such thing as punishment for that guy."
Detectives with the Manatee County Homicide Task Forced identified Bundrage as a suspect and obtained warrants charging him with home invasion robbery, police said.
Police listed Bundrage's residence as being in the 2100 block of 16th Avenue East, Bradenton, about two blocks from where Medina was killed.
Police spokesman Capt. William Fowler declined to comment on what led investigators to Bundrage.
Bundrage has worked for the school district as a bus driver since 2011, according to school district records. His work has been rated as "satisfactory."
Bundrage had moved back to Bradenton from Tallahassee in 2010 after the death of his stepfather. His employer in Tallahassee, O'Hara Education, had written in a performance evaluation that he was "mannerable and pleasant to work with." He was a maintenance worker for the firm.
Bundrage has not previously been convicted of a felony in Florida, according to the Florida Department of Corrections.
According to Manatee County court records, Bundrage pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft in 2006, and was sentenced to six months probation.
Court records also show Bundrage has been to court several times for traffic violations, including driving with a suspended license.
Anyone having information about the home invasions and Medina's death can call Bradenton Police Detective James Curulla at 941-747-3011, ext. 2224, or Crime Stoppers at 866-634-TIPS or online at manateecrimestoppers.com.