ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — St. Pete Police are investigating the apparent shooting death of a local barbershop owner who was found in his vehicle late Tuesday night.
Anthony Link, 37, was found in his white Mercedes in the 1500 block of 26th Street South. Police say they received a 911 call about the vehicle crashing at 11:53 p.m.
Link owned ATL Barbershop. ABC Action News spoke to him in 2016 when there was a deadly shooting outside of his business. At the time, he was hopeful the community would come together to "help our youth because they are our future."
And on Wednesday, when an ABC Action News crew went to ask people about Link, many people described him with the same adjective.
"He['s] a good person," a client of his said. "He['s] a big peacemaker."
And that's why everyone we spoke to was completely baffled as to why anyone would want to hurt him.
"He ain't never been in no beef with people or nothing like that. He ain't never mentioned that to me like that either. Like. that's what makes it so crazy," his client said.
Link's social media showcases lots of smiling little boys with fresh lineups, his children at the shop and even events advertising free haircuts.
His clients say he came a long way from doing business from a backpack.
"He put in his footwork, planted a seed over here. And you know, it was like, we were family," his client Ray said.
The small vigil growing larger in size as the day went on.
"I've already sent my Teddy bear over there for him," Jessica Holmes said.
She lives just up the block from Link's shop and patronizes the business along with her son. She told us it didn't feel real until she saw a crowd at the front door.
"This is going to hurt the community. This was a hard pill to swallow," she said.
And now she hopes Link's untimely death will be a reality check.
"I just feel like if this right here, doesn't show the community, the violence that's going on and help something in the city that I don't really know what will. I really don't," she said.
The investigation is in its early stages. Detectives believe Link was shot but they say an exact cause of death is not yet known.
Authorities are asking anyone with information to call the department's non-emergency line at 727-893-7780. Anonymous texts can also be sent by starting your message with the letters SPPD followed by your tip, then text it to TIP411.
No other information has been released at this time.