TAMPA - One of two males wanted in connection to the shooting death of a Tampa Family Dollar store manager Sunday morning is no longer deemed a suspect after speaking with detectives.
According to Tampa Police Det. Chuck Massucci, a male in a hat and wearing white headphones in a surveillance picture released earlier Sunday has been cleared after coming forward and giving a statement.
He is now considered a witness and will not be identified.
In an email, his sister told ABC Action News, "My brother was in the wrong place at the wrong time and had nothing to do with that crime. He has told his story of the account and was released to go home."
"He came in on the advice of his family -- came in with family," Massucci said, "and made a statement that excluded him as a plausible suspect at this time."
The male in the black toboggan, holding something in his hand, is still a suspect in the murder, Massucci said.
The males were identified as suspects Sunday morning after Horsely "J.R." Shorter Jr., 49, an Army veteran, was shot and killed in the Family Dollar at 4900 N. 40th Street in Tampa around 9 a.m.
He was one of two employees working at the time of the shooting.
"The armed suspect entered the Family Dollar Store and demanded money from the employee behind the counter," Tampa Police spokesperson Laura McElroy said Sunday night.
Shorter, who was inside an office, saw the robbery taking place and ran out to help.
The suspect shot him.
The suspect forced the other employee at gunpoint out to the victim's vehicle, opened the trunk and ordered the employee to get inside.
"The employee pleaded with him and the suspect eventually closed the trunk and stole the car," McElroy said.
The stolen car, a white 1995 Mitsubishi Mirage, was found Monday abandoned near 2503 38th Avenue.
Shorter died of his injuries at Tampa General Hospital.
Massucci said he was beloved in the community. "This is a very tragic situation."
The suspect is identified as a black male in his twenties, thin build, dark complexion, black beanie or toboggan, long-sleeve thermal shirt, long shorts, dark blue boxers and low white socks.
Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the identification and arrest of the unknown suspect "responsible for the death of Mr. Shorter," according to Tampa Police.
Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477).
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Tampa police are currently investigating a shooting that occurred at 706 West Amelia Avenue.