FORT PIERCE — The 17-year-old accused of shooting a customer inside a Tropical Smoothie Cafe this month was identified as the boyfriend of an employee, according to statements in an affidavit.
Antonio Brown, charged with attempted murder, is accused of shooting the customer Sept. 13 after his girlfriend said she contacted him via Instagram messenger and said a man in the store was “yelling and being disrespectful to her,” an affidavit states.
The new details in the non-fatal shooting, which happened shortly after 3 p.m. at the eatery in the 5200 block of Okeechobee Road, were contained in an arrest affidavit.
Fort Pierce police announced Brown’s arrest, but declined to provide more information, including Brown’s photo, saying the case was under investigation.
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According to the affidavit, witnesses in the store said a man identified as the victim got upset or argued with workers about the length of time it was taking for his order.
The victim, identified by police as a 39-year-old Miami man, began recording with his cell phone, before the alleged shooter entered.
“I can hear ya’ll in the back, where’s my food,” the victim is quoted as saying. “I want my refund.”
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A witness quoted the shooter as saying, “That’s my girl you talking to like that.”
The assailant, wearing a black hoodie, black shorts and a black mask, shot the man and walked out.
The customer was shot once in the right side of his jaw with the projectile exiting the left side. The projectile then went through a wall, landing in a neighboring hair salon. A .45-caliber cartridge casing was found in the store.
Surveillance video showed the customer identified as the victim enter about 2:35 p.m., and that he was “in and out” for about 28 minutes, according to the report.
About 3:02 p.m, the accused gunman came in and exchanged words with the customer. He pulled a gun from his jacket, and shot the man from close range “right in the face.”
No apparent fear
The video, which has not been publicly released, shows employees running for cover and customers ducking, according to the arrest report.
A person, whose name is redacted from the arrest report, walked to the shooter and “said something to him as if she knows who the suspect is,” the affidavit states.
“She did not seem to be in fear of the male suspect,” the affidavit states.
The man who was shot told police he’s a regular customer at the store and usually orders the same thing.
He said it took a long time to prepare his food, and he began to get frustrated. He started recording the “poor customer service” to report to the manager.
An employee said she sent her boyfriend a message via Instagram messenger. She told him a man was “yelling and being disrespectful” to her, the affidavit states.
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She said they gave the man his food, for which he’d waited more than 25 minutes.
She said her boyfriend walked in and argued with the man and shot him.
She ran to her boyfriend and said, “bae bae bae” before pushing him away.
Brown was apprehended at his home on Florida Avenue in Fort Pierce.
He denied being at Tropical Smoothie, but said he knows an employee there.
Arrested late Sept. 14, Brown was taken to the juvenile detention center. Earlier the same day, the shooting victim was upgraded to good condition at a hospital.
While customarily not naming juveniles accused of crimes, TCPalm.com and Treasure Coast Newspapers does name some juveniles depending on the seriousness of the crime, their age, aggravating circumstances and other factors.
Will Greenlee is a breaking news reporter for TCPalm. He also covers strange, wild and weird Treasure Coast crimes in “Off The Beat.” Follow Will on Twitter @OffTheBeatTweet or reach him by phone at 772-692-8936. E-mail him at email@example.com
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