RIVERVIEW, Fla. -
Three suspects have been arrested in connection with the brutal murder Wednesday of a 7-Eleven clerk in Riverview. Deputies knew the men went south, after stolen scratch-off lottery tickets were cashed in.
Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee said they were looking for two or three suspects including Lawrence Bongiovanni, 20, and Russell Beasley, 25, both from the Tampa Bay area.
"This was a very brutal, premeditated attack," he said. "I don't know that robbery was even the motive here or it was just a motive to kill this person."
The sheriff said Bongiovanni is fresh out of prison, on supervised release, for aggravated battery. Beasley is also a convicted violent criminal.
Surveillance video from inside the convenience store at 11015 Bloomingdale Avenue shows the scuffle between the victim, 54-year-old Kenneth Lee Redding, and his attacker.
Col. Donna Lusczynski with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said the video is key evidence. "It actually shows the entire crime occurring."
The tape shows a white male, possibly Bongiovanni, wearing jeans and a royal blue hoodie with black sleeves.
They say he went into the store bathroom and hid for seven or eight minutes until he thought he was alone with the clerk. He went into aisle, crouched down an then attacked the clerk.
The suspect took lottery tickets before leaving the store.
Officials with the Florida Lottery have been working with deputies to track the serial numbers of winning lottery tickets.
"They went to several others stores," said Gee. "At least two others stores within a few miles of this location,
before they started traveling south."
Later, they were seen south of the Tampa Bay area. "After nine o'clock this morning they were in Nokomis, Florida down in Sarasota County," said Gee. "Shortly after that they were down in Charlotte County."
They are believed to be in a 2000 two-door white Toyota Camry Solara.
Jeremy Walker, a regular customer at the store in Riverview said he was making his typical stop to the store on Bloomingdale and Providence around 1:30 a.m. when he noticed the clerk was not at the counter.
He made his way down the aisles, and found Redding suffering from numerous stab wounds and bleeding profusely. So much so, he said, it was hard to get over to Redding.
"I saw what I thought the wounds were, and grabbed a bunch of napkins that I could plug him with," Walker said.
Right before he entered the store, he said, he noticed a man dashing out of the store and taking off on foot, but his concerns were with helping an ailing Redding.
"I asked if he could hear me or understand me to blink, and he did. So I went, 'alright he could do that.' He tried to speak at first, but he just... he couldn't. He couldn't speak," Walker said emotionally.
Another customer who was pumping gas called 911, said Walker, and paramedics took Redding to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Detectives are looking into a motive for the crime, and say they have several solid leads, including the surveillance camera footage.
They were also following a trail of blood that stretched at least a quarter mile down Bloomingdale.
ABC Action News also spoke to a woman who identified herself as the mother of Kenneth Redding, who was only able to tell our crew that "He was a good man."
Detectives are asking the public to examine the surveillance images and contact officials at (813) 247-8200 or Crimestoppers with any information regarding the investigation.
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