Gun-range clerk shot
By BETH BURGER - firstname.lastname@example.org
PALMETTO — A 70-year-old, gun-range clerk was shot in the neck during an armed robbery Tuesday evening, and flown to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, according to the Palmetto Police Department.
Two gunmen entered Bullseye Indoor Pistol Range, 1012 10th Street E., with their faces covered in bandanas before overpowering the man at about 5:30 p.m.
They took about 10 to 12 handguns kept in display cases.
They flipped the lights out leaving the clerk in the dark.
“He didn’t have a chance to arm himself,” said Tom Santoro, owner of Bullseye, who came to the range after he was contacted by Emergency Communications.
“They must have known what they were doing. They knew where to come in a turn the lights off,” he said.
Santoro rushed over but said the gunmen were already gone when he arrived.
Santoro plans to keep the range closed until he can make a secure entrance.
Rocco Vontinelli remains in stable condition at Bayfront, according to authorities.
“We don’t want these guns out on the streets,” said Palmetto Police Chief Garry Lowe at the scene.
Anyone with information can call the Palmetto Police Department at (941) 723-4587 ext. 103 or Crimestoppers at (866) 634-8477.