Police: Student killed in home invasion
Officials don't believe it is linked to another recent home invasion shooting.
Published: Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 10:12 p.m.
The 20-year-old woman found shot to death Monday night was shot in the back during an apparent home invasion robbery, police said Wednesday.
But police say they do not believe there is a link between Monday's shooting and another suspected home invasion robbery in late December in which a University of Florida doctoral student was shot in the face and back.
The culprits in both of the shootings remain on the loose, but police say the community should not be worried about a serial offender targeting area apartment complexes.
Gainesville police said Wednesday that preliminary autopsy results show Stacey Brown, a Gainesville resident who was scheduled to begin classes Tuesday at Santa Fe College, was shot once with a handgun Monday. Police also said a small amount of marijuana and cash were taken from the apartment Brown had been visiting.
"This tells us that she was not the intended target. Home invasion was the motive," Police Capt. Ed Book said. "We are wondering if she was intending to flee and that is why her back was to the shooter."
On Dec. 22, a 36-year-old UF student survived being shot twice during a suspected home invasion robbery.
"There is nothing to indicate they are related," Book said of the two recent shootings. "We're taking a look at both of them. Until we get more suspect information, there is no way to say.
"We don't believe there is a general threat to everybody that somebody is going to barge through their door with guns," Book said.
Police on Wednesday said they have determined the case involving Brown was a home invasion. Conflicting information was given just after the shooting.
Brown was shot Monday night in an apartment in the Pine Ridge complex at 5811 N.W. 23rd Terrace.
She was a friend of the girlfriend of a man who lived there, Mannual Shaw, 21.
Police say it appears two men entered the apartment, after which Shaw took out an unloaded handgun. The intruders fired before fleeing from the apartment and might have been driving a white 1990s-era Honda - possibly a Civic.
The assailants were described as being black, 25 to 35 years old, with short hair. One possibly had tattoos, particularly on his hands, police reported.
The gun Shaw said he pulled out during the incident eventually was found in a relative's car, Book said, after which Shaw was arrested for possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.
In the Dec. 22 case, the victim told police he had been home about 30 minutes when he heard a knock on the door. When he answered the door, a man rushed in, robbed him of an undisclosed amount of cash and fired at him twice before leaving, police reported. The victim dialed 911 from his cell phone.
He was taken to Shands at the University of Florida, where doctors decided it would be best to leave in place the bullet in his back.
Officers were assigned to canvass the neighborhood and nearby apartment complexes looking for anyone with information. In addition to going door to door, police also are looking for surveillance cameras that might have caught images of the gunman.
While not speaking specifically to either of the two recent cases, Book said home invasion robberies typically involve drugs.
"The common denominator in most of our home invasion robberies over the last few years have been drugs," Book said. "We have had cases where people are misidentified or in the wrong apartment, but in general if we felt there was some generic threat to people in their homes, we would be getting out that information.
"In general, the home invasion robberies we have are not random targets," Book said.
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