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Blockbuster Robber Meets Armed Florida Father

Four Versions Below...

Originally ran here as:
"Surviving Blockbuster robbery suspect charged with murder"
by Staff Writer
News Journal
March 19, 2002

ORANGE CITY, FLORIDA -- The Volusia County Sheriff's Office has charged Darius Bennett, the surviving suspect in Monday night's botched Blockbuster robbery, with murder.

Sheriff's investigators formally charged Bennett, 18, with murder and being a principal to attempted armed robbery, serving him with the arrest papers in his hospital bed at Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach. Bennett is recovering from a gunshot wound to the chest he sustained when the father of a Blockbuster employee opened fire on the suspects to foil their robbery attempt.

The other suspect, 19-year-old James Wince of Deltona, died from gunshots to the chest and neck. Both suspects are from Deltona. Wince was an employee at the Blockbuster store, Sheriff's spokesman Gary Davidson said.

The attempted robbery occurred at about 11:45 p.m. Monday evening at the Blockbuster Video Store on Enterprise Road. Both suspects were wearing masks. Witnesses said Wince was armed with a rifle and pointed it at one employee as well as another employee's father, 50-year-old Robert Shockey. Shockey had arrived at the store to pick up his son and was armed with a .45-caliber handgun. Shockey, who has a concealed weapons permit from the state to carry the gun, fired first at Wince. When Wince fell to the ground and dropped his rifle, Shockey fired at Bennett as he made a move to pick up the rifle.

The same Blockbuster store was robbed Jan. 24 while Wince was working at the time.


Blockbuster Robber Meets Florida Father

Originally ran here as:
"Deputies: Father of video store employee fatally shoots robber"
by The Associated Press
Jacksonville.com
March 19, 2002

Deputies: Father of video store employee fatally shoots robber

ORANGE CITY, Fla. - The father of a Blockbuster Video store employee fatally shot one armed robber and wounded his partner, Volusia County sheriff's officials said Tuesday.

Robert Shockey, 50, fired three shots from his .45-caliber handgun after the masked men confronted him and employees with a rifle late Monday night at the store about 30 miles north of Orlando. Shockey has a concealed weapons permit, authorities said.

"I feel bad about what happened," Shockey said Tuesday in a telephone interview. "I had to do it; I didn't have any choice. I had to defend myself and the people around me."

Killed in the 11:45 p.m. robbery was James Wince, 19, of Deltona.

Wince, who also worked at Blockbuster, was armed with a rifle, said Gary Davidson, a spokesman for the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.

Darius Bennett, 18, also of Deltona, was listed in stable condition Tuesday in the intensive care unit at Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach. He was charged Tuesday with murder because of his involvement in the robbery that led to Wince's death and being a principal to attempted armed robbery, Davidson said.

Shockey said he was in the store talking to his son, Gabriel Shockey, 20, when the masked men burst in.

Witnesses said Wince pointed his rifle at one employee as well as Robert Shockey, Davidson said.

Shockey fired first at Wince, Davidson said.

When Wince fell to the ground and dropped his rifle, Shockey fired at Bennett as he made a move to pick up the rifle, Davidson said.

Davidson said the shooting was still under investigation.

"It certainly appears Mr. Shockey was justified in using deadly force," Davidson said.

"I don't feel well. I haven't eaten, I can't sleep," Shockey said.

Shockey said he usually visits the store about closing time.

"It's real deserted at night," he said.

The same Blockbuster store was robbed Jan. 24 while Wince was working.


Blockbuster Robber Meets Florida Father

Originally ran here as:
Father Shoots Robbers At Video Store
by Channel 9 Eyewitness News
icFlorida.com
March 19, 2002

Father Shoots Robbers At Video Store

(03/19/02) -- One man is dead, another injured after an armed robbery in Volusia County. Two suspects were shot by the father of one of the employees at the Blockbuster Video store on Enterprise Road near Orange City.

The Blockbuster has been robbed before and out of concern for his son, Robert Shockey went to the store Monday night to pick his son up. He was armed with a loaded gun.

A gun he believes saved his and other people's lives.

After being shot in the chest during what police say was an armed robbery, 18-year-old Darius Bennett waved at our camera as he was wheeled into the hospital.

Police say Bennett and his friend James Wince both charged into a Blockbuster Video in Orange City with masks, tried to rob a clerk at gunpoint, then were both shot by a man who was inside the store waiting for his son to get off work.

"As the suspect turned the rifle on the clerk, he pulled his firearm and told him to freeze and at that time he pointed the rifle towards him and he shot him twice," said Capt. Dave Hudson of the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.

James Wince collapsed to the floor and died. Then police say Darius Bennett went for the rifle.

Robert Shockey was the man inside the store waiting for his son. He says he doesn't always carry a gun, but he had it Monday night because of the robbery that had happened before at the store.

He told Channel 9 Eyewitness News he didn't want to shoot, but he says he had no choice.

"At this time our investigation has not revealed any probable cause or any reason for the VCSO to think that this was not done in self defense," a Volusia County Sheriff's investigator said.

At this point there are no charges against the man who shot the two suspects, but the suspect Darius Bennett is now charged with his friend James Wince's murder.


Blockbuster Robber Meets Florida Father

Originally ran here as:
Dad slays gunman inside son's store
by Rich McKay, Staff Writer
Orlando Sentinel
March 20, 2002

Dad slays gunman inside son's store

ORANGE CITY -- A father came to his son's rescue during an armed robbery attempt at a Blockbuster Video store Monday night -- slaying the gunman and wounding an accused accomplice with a .45-caliber pistol he kept under his shirt, detectives said.

It was no coincidence that Robert P. Shockey was at the store. Every night that his 20-year-old son, Gabe, closes up, Robert Shockey waited and watched. And he has been armed with his semi-automatic.

The reason is another robbery at the Blockbuster in January. During that crime, one of Gabe Shockey's co-workers was attacked and dragged around by his hair.

Shockey's son refused to quit his job, so the father did the only thing he could think of to protect his son -- watch.

"A lot of nights it'd be just him, and it's so dark there," Shockey said. "I'd go down, 10:30, 11 and sit in my car in the parking lot. I figured if there were cars there, it would help. If my son wasn't busy, I'd go in and talk to him.

"I don't consider myself a hero," he said. "I love my family."

Detectives say it was lucky he was there Monday.

Robert Shockey, a 50-year-old carpenter, was inside the Enterprise Road store about 11:45 p.m., 15 minutes before closing. There were no customers as Gabe Shockey went to the back office to tally up the day's receipts. Robert Shockey stood inside near the front counter talking to a young man on his first day of work.

From his DeLand home Tuesday, Shockey recalled the events. The door burst open and two men rushed in. Ski masks covered their faces. One brandished a rifle and both were shouting violent, obscenity-laced threats."They made it clear that they would kill us," Shockey said.

His son saw it on the monitors in the office and called 911. But the shooting happened just heartbeats later.

"It was fast -- an adrenaline moment," Shockey said. "I had no time to think, just react."

The gunman first pointed the rifle at Robert Shockey and then at an employee, identified only as Brian. While the rifle was pointed at the young employee, Shockey reached for the pistol tucked in his belt against the small of his back. He drew the weapon.

"I shouted, "Freeze!" he said. The man with the rifle -- standing only about 6 feet away -- turned and pointed it at Shockey.

Shockey fell silent for a moment when asked about what happened next. "It's got him shaken up," said his wife, Gloria.

Detectives say Shockey fired at least two shots, hitting the gunman once in the throat and once in the chest. The man detectives say was an accomplice then reached for the rifle, so Shockey fired again, hitting him in the chest. He fired a fourth shot that missed.

The man who died, 19-year-old James Franklin Wince of Deltona, was an off-duty employee of the store he was trying to rob, said detectives, who think Wince was involved in the January robbery.

The survivor, Darius Bennett, 18, is charged with murder in his partner's death under a law that allows someone involved in a felony to be charged with murder even if that person didn't do the killing. Felony murder is a second-degree murder, sheriff's spokesman Gary Davidson said.

Bennett was charged at his hospital bed in the intensive care unit at Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, where he was listed in stable condition Tuesday afternoon. Bennett, who also has several felony convictions, is expected to recover.

Shockey, who has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, received praise from sheriff's officials for his actions, and got a call from Sheriff Ben Johnson, who offered his support.

"He [Shockey] is going to get the good-citizenship award," Davidson said.

Detectives will forward their information to the State's Attorney's Office for a final decision.

Investigator Sgt. Bob Kelly said: "It appears to be a self-defense case."

Though only 19, Wince has a record of a half dozen arrests and several convictions on charges ranging from burglary to vehicle theft. A Blockbuster spokesman in Dallas, Randy Hargrove, said the company does not do criminal background checks at its Florida stores. He could not explain the reason for that policy.

Arthur Hayhoe, the executive director of the Florida Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, said this case is "a tough call" for a group that favors strict gun laws.

He said he won't "second-guess" a parent defending his son, but Hayhoe is troubled with the second shooting.

"It's still a shooting of an unarmed person, and that's always troubling," he said.And he predicted the story will wind up in the National Rifle Association's publication, The American Rifleman, and its column, Armed Citizen, which recounts the stories of people who use guns to defend themselves.

The NRA declined to comment on the incident. But another group, the Gun Owners of America, based in Springfield, Va., applauded.

"It's a classic case of self-defense, and one less menace to society," said the group's executive director, Larry Pratt. "Good for him."

Robert Shockey doesn't want praise, saying, "I was just doing what I had to do."

Alicia C. Caldwell of the Sentinel staff contributed to this report.

Rich McKay can be reached at 386-253-2316.


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