Police: One dead in St. Petersburg home invasion
By Kameel Stanley and Alli Langley, Times Staff Writers
Published Tuesday, June 19, 2012
ST. PETERSBURG — The four masked men stormed up to the house with purpose early Tuesday morning.
They walked in a single line, taking time to move a lawn chair in their way.
It took just two strong kicks to bust down the door of the rust colored, single family home at 7014 Orpine Drive N.
"Police! Police! Police!" the group shouted, guns raised.
Once inside, authorities said, the robbers demanded cash and drugs from the two occupants: Richard Lamar Shaw, 41, and his adult son.
The robbers shot Shaw in the upper torso, police said. He died soon afterward at Northside Hospital. His son was unharmed.
Police believe the men also are responsible for a similar home invasion that took place about 25 minutes earlier at 5800 First St. N., a couple of miles away.
In that case, police said, a group of armed and masked young men barged into the home about 4:20 a.m. yelling "police," and asking for money and jewelry.
They roughed up a occupant Gregg M. Gordon, 51, and took property before fleeing.
"There are enough similarities that we believe these are the same suspects," said St. Petersburg police spokesman Bill Proffitt. "We don't believe these are random acts. It appears more like these victims were targeted."
Hours after the shooting, family friend and neighbor Timothy Bidwell paced near the scene at 70th Avenue N and Orpine Drive.
Crime tape kept him from getting too close to the house Shaw owned with his wife Tory, who died last week from cancer.
"It's not right," said Bidwell, 33, who said he'd known Shaw for nearly 20 years. Bidwell said his uncle was best friends with Shaw, and the two lived in the same Meadowlawn neighborhood for years. "He didn't deserve this."
Shaw's wife died June 11 at the home. The couple had been married 18 years and raised two sons.
"Rick was so strong about it," Bidwell said. "It's just a shame. It's just a very sad situation."
Police did not have detailed descriptions of the robbers Tuesday afternoon, but released a video of the break-in at Shaw's home. It was captured by an exterior surveillance system at the home.
Bidwell said people had tried to break into Shaw's home before, and that he'd bought a gun to protect his family.
Police said they'd been called to the home three times this year.
In March, Proffitt said, one of Shaw's sons reported that someone he'd had a dispute with drove by the home and pointed a gun. Officers also were called to the home June 11, the day Shaw's wife died.
On Friday, Shaw called police saying someone had egged his home.