NewsSarasota, Manatee County


2 more suspects arrested in connection with murder of Bradenton smoke shop worker

Posted at 4:54 PM, Sep 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-21 10:48:46-04

BRADENTON, Fla. — Two more suspects have been arrested in connection with the murder of a Bradenton smoke shop worker.

According to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, 19-year-old James Brewer left a silver vehicle driven by 21-year-old Michael Hepner and walked inside the Green Galaxy Smoke and Vape Shop.

Brewer entered the store as a way to distract the owner. Amado Zeppi, 20, and an unknown suspect entered the store armed with an SKS rifle and bayonet with their faces covered, deputies said.

The smoke shop worker, 23-year-old Mohammed "Mo" Hamed, was ordered to the back of the store and the suspects made him open a safe. Zeppi continued to point his weapon at Hamed, and then "unprovoked, he swung the firearm, striking Hamed with the byonet end. The firearm fired upon striking Hamed, killing him," according to deputies.

All four of the suspects fled with Hepner driving the vehicle. On Friday, deputies arrested Brewer and Hepner. Brewer and Hepner are both charged with second-degree murder.

Hepner's mug shot has not been released as of Friday afternoon.

Zeppi, who was arrested Thursday, is also charged with second-degree murder.

The fourth suspect is still on the loose.

According to deputies, Hamed's brother called 911 around 11 p.m. on Tuesday after seeing him being held at gunpoint on security cameras.

When deputies arrived on scene they found Hamed deceased.

Anyone with information on the fourth suspect or the deadly robbery attempt is asked to call 941-747-3011.