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Worker hid as armed robber fatally shot colleague

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Updated: 7/08/2013 6:58 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Tyler Lumley stood on the sidewalk outside Mojo's No. 4 Monday morning, trying to process what he had just witnessed moments earlier. A co-worker and a friend had been gunned down by an armed robber.

"It's something that nobody should ever have to go through," he said.

He said it started as just another night at work.  He and 53-year-old Robert Sutton were cleaning the exhaust system at the restaurant.

"My partner was outside doing some pressure washing and he came inside, and the next thing I know the guy was following him and he had a gun up to him," he said.

Lumley said the gunman demanded money.  When Sutton told him he didn't have any, the robber fired his weapon.

"The guy didn't see me," said Lumley.  "And I got into some plastic that we work with.  And I ducked underneath the counter and I heard a gunshot."

Sutton was killed.  Terrified, Lumley said he stayed hidden for about 30 minutes, unsure if the gunman had left the restaurant.  He then called police.

By that time, JSO was working another robbery and shooting at a CVS store on Roosevelt Boulevard.  The victim there was just grazed by a bullet, and is expected to be OK.

JSO now believes the two crimes are connected.  Police released photos of a man captured on CVS's surveillance cameras. 

Police said the shooter took an innocent father's life.  Sutton's employer, Ed Lumley, choked back tears when he said, "He was just an awesome employee.  All he did was work and go home.  I've never seen him drink a beer.  Fifty-three years old.  It's a shame."

JSO said it is possible that these robberies are connected to a crime spree on the Westside.

Related story: Westside crime spree]

CVS spokesman Michael DeAngelis released a statement about the shooting investigation:

"Fortunately, our employee was treated and released from the hospital this morning. Apparently, he was only grazed by the bullet. For any other specific details, we are deferring to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office as it is an on-going investigation. We are fully cooperating with police and have provided them with surveillance images of the suspect."

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