Sheriff: 2 masked gunmen in Palmetto home invasion

MANATEE - Two masked men got away with cash, jewelry and possibly a gun during a home invasion robbery in Palmetto this morning, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

About 7:15 a.m., two men armed with guns kicked in the front door of a house in the 2600 block of Eighth Avenue East. The noise awakened the sole person in the house, a 46-year-old man. He tried to hold the bedroom door closed, but the gunmen forced it open, the sheriff's office said.

They ordered the man to the ground, and one of the suspects put a gun to man's temple and pulled the trigger three times but nothing fired. The suspect then hit the man about the head, leaving a small abrasion and a bump on his head, according to a news release.

Meanwhile, the suspects kept asking, "Where is the money, where is the coca?" They tied the victim's head with duct tape, an apron and wire and ripped the telephone out of the wall, the sheriff's office said.

The suspects ransacked the entire house, going through every drawer and closet, including ripping open a large bag of flour in the garage. According to the victim, they spent about 45 minutes in the house before they fled.

He heard a car driving off, but could not give any description or travel direction. He ran to a neighbor across the street after he freed himself to call for help.

The victim resides in the home with his wife, son, daughter-in -aw and their two children. He stated his son left for Atlanta on Friday and works in construction. His wife and daughter-in-law left for work before 6:30 a.m. this morning and took the children to a day care. The victim generally would be at work also, but he is off for the summer season, according to the sheriff's office.

The suspects took between $800 to $1,000, an unknown amount of jewelry and possibly a 9mm chrome Colt pistol, according to the release.

The area was checked with help from a police dog, but a track could not be established. A neighborhood canvass was conducted, but no witnesses were located.

The victim, who refused medical treatment, stated he did not know the suspects or why they chose his residence.

The suspects were described as each standing 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighing 180 pounds. Both were wearing black T-shirts, long jeans shorts and black ski masks. They were each carrying semi-automatic handguns, according to the sheriff's office.