Deputies searching for attempted robbery suspect wearing Halloween mask

Posted at 5:53 PM, Oct 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-05 05:53:01-04

Deputies are searching for a suspect who shot a man in an attempted robbery in Thonotosassa Tuesday night. According to deputies, he's also suspected in an attempted carjacking and shooting earlier that evening.

Deputies say he was wearing a Halloween mask and driving a moped at one point.

"He ended up coming out this way, exiting through the fence." Brandon Melanson, owner of Next Level Turf said.

Deputies were scouring Melanson's property for evidence, which is just down the street from the shooting scene on Muck Pond Road. Deputies found the moped, they believe, the masked gunman used in the earlier carjacking where he's accused of shooting at a woman. She was not injured.

Melanson says the masked robber came onto his property, stole a company truck and torched it about 10 miles away.

He drove through two wooden fences when he fled.

Melanson says security cameras captured video of the man.

"He was limping like he was hurt, he was struggling, he was covered in mud," he said.

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, the man who was shot was treated at the hospital and released.

Freemon Grayes heard the gunshots. He had no idea what was happening outside his home.

"This has never happened before. I mean....this is very, very, very unusual," Grayes said.

HCSO says they're following leads, but the masked robber has not yet been captured. If you have any information, contact the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

"When you deal with individuals like this, that has actually fired at two people, we're lucky we don't have two homicides we're investigating," HCSO Corporal Larry McKinnon said.