Gunfire exchanged in morning home invasion

Historic City News reporters were notified by St. Johns County Sheriff’s spokesman, Kevin Kelshaw, that three men are in custody at this time in connection with a home invasion robbery that occurred early this morning in West Augustine.

Deputies responded to a call for help from the 49 year-old victim’s residence in the 900 block of South Clay Street in St. Augustine.

According to the victim’s statement, he was awakened at about 2:45 a.m. Wednesday by a loud noise in his residence. When he went to a rear door to investigate, he discovered that the door had been kicked in.

At the door, the victim came face-to-face with one of the three assailants who had entered his home. The intruder, his face covered, ordered the victim to the ground; while pointing a shotgun in the victim’s direction.

Instead of complying, the victim ran to the front door. One shot was fired from inside the home by one of the three intruders; however, the victim was not hit by the gunshot.

The victim ran to a neighbor’s house and armed himself; then he returned to his home.

Along the way, the three intruders were observed running from the victim’s home by way of a neighbor’s yard. The victim gave chase and exchanged gunfire with the intruders on two occasions. No one was struck.

A witness observed the three gunmen enter a home in the 1000 block of West 12th Street. After establishing a perimeter around the home, deputies entered to check on the welfare of any residents. The woman who met deputies advised them that there should be no one else inside her residence and gave deputies consent to search.

Deputies located 21 year-old Willie Remare Powell Jr., who resides at 608 N. Heritage Creek Way; 20 year-old Floyd Latavius Hall, who resides at 1028 W. 12th St.; and 20 year-old Myron Lorenzo Tobler Jr., who resides at 921 N. McLaughlin St. — all were hiding in a rear bedroom.

After being questioned by deputies at the scene, the three men were taken into custody without further incident and booked at the St. Johns County Detention Facility — each faces attempted home invasion robbery with a firearm as well as other charges.

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