Shot during robbery, jewelry store owner fires back, kills suspect

jewelry store robbery

A woman who works nearby said there’s a steady police presence in the plaza, but feels it’s no longer enough to keep criminals away. (Photo: News 4 Jax)

A Jacksonville jewelry store owner is recovering from a gunshot wound after he was shot during a robbery Thursday night, but despite his injuries, he managed to fire back on the suspects, killing one.

The jewelry store owner, whose name has not been released, was closing up shop when he was confronted by two masked men at the back door. The three men became involved in a violent tussle before one of the suspects shot the owner. But the owner was able to retrieve his own gun and returned fire on the suspects, striking one and sending both fleeing from the scene.

As the suspects ran away, the store owner emerged from the building and collapsed in the parking lot outside where he was seen by Leon Davidson, a security guard at a nearby Winn-Dixie. Davidson rushed over to help the man while waiting for first responders to arrive.

“The gentleman was basically sitting in a pool of his own blood,” Davidson told reporters. “We gave him a tourniquet on the arm. We kept him awake, talked to him about his family. Just questions to keep the man conscious.”

The store owner was transported to a local hospital for treatment of what was determined to be non-life threatening injuries.

A short time later, just after 10 p.m., the suspect showed up at the hospital suffering from a gunshot wound as well. The suspect, who was later identified as Kurt Dean, 24, died the following day, while the second suspect remains at large.

Authorities recovered the store owner’s gun as well as a single spent shell casing from the shop.

A woman who works at a business near the jewelry store said that while she typically felt the area was safe, she is second guessing that thought now.

“It makes me afraid for where I work,” she said. “I will definitely be making sure that everyone in the area is around each other so that we leave at the same time. That way we don’t spread out. We leave at the same time.”

Davidson called the attempted robbery a sad thing, noting that the store owner was simply trying to take care of his family and something bad happened.