By Rochelle E.B. Gilken and Sonja Isger
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Residents in a wooded Gun Club neighborhood in suburban West Palm Beach thought theirs was a quiet place until police came roaring down the street in answer to a home invasion robbery this morning.
Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputies are searching for two home invasion robbers who burst into a home in a wooded neighborhood off Gun Club Road, killed a dog and threatened a family.
Two adults inside bolted, leaving their 8-year-old boy in the home with the invaders. The boy was there for at least five minutes before deputies arrived and recovered him unharmed, according to Sheriff's Lt. William Bruckner.
The invaders came through the back door and were confronted by the family pit bull-mix. One of the invaders shot the dog, who wandered into the bathroom and died, Sheriff's spokeswoman Teri Barbera said. Another family dog in the house survived, she said.
The parents made reference to investigators that the invaders wanted drugs or money. And there was an unreported home invasion at the same address the night before, Bruckner said.
Property records show the home, at 5963 Gun Club Road, is owned by the estate of Kathleen Dummett, who died last year.
Jackie Morrow, who has lived across the street for a year, said she heard late night gunshots in the area a couple weeks back, but the neighborhood is generally quiet.
"I'll be very vigilant from now on," she said.
Patrick Sell told deputies he saw a car driving suspiciously in the area around midnight. He didn't call it in at the time, but alerted investigators this morning, just in case it might help their search efforts.
"Nothing like that happens around here. Never thought I'd see (expletive) like this," said Sell, who has lived in the neighborhood for 25 years.
Deputies have employed helicopters and police dogs to hunt for the armed men who fled on foot. Early on, the search spanned the area near Melaleuca Elementary School and deputies had the school locked down.
The school, however, did open its doors at 7:15 a.m., school district spokesman Nat Harrington reported shortly before 8 a.m.
Sheriff's officials say they are looking for two men, a black man in a black T-shirt and black pants armed with a shotgun and another, Hispanic male, also dressed in black, carrying a 9 mm handgun.