One chilling detail ups Barberitos, Chevron killings to 'a whole different level'
One killer may be behind the city's three homicides this month, Police Chief Brett Evans said Tuesday at a news conference.
Daniel Bruce Franz II is wanted on charges of murder and aggravated assault in the Jan. 13 slaying of 28-year-old Vincent Junior at Tanglewood Apartments on Elberta Road.
Police do not have sufficient evidence, Evans said, to seek warrants for Franz's arrest in connection with Sunday's fatal shooting of Barberitos restaurant worker Parker K. Moore, 23, of Kathleen, during an armed robbery, and the Jan. 13 slaying of Chevron convenience store clerk Janak "Jack" Kumar Patel, 25, Warner Robins, during an armed robbery.
However, Franz cannot be ruled out as suspect in all three slayings, Evans said.
Additionally, the climbing reward for information leading to the whereabouts and arrest of Franz has reached up to $20,000, said Macon Regional Crimestoppers' Warren Selby.
"We're here today to reach out to the community to say please help the Warner Robins police department and these men and women solve these crimes, and certainly make the streets safer for our community," Selby said at the news conference. "You may not think it's a significant piece of information. But crime's like a puzzle. Every little piece goes together to make a big picture."
Franz, who is known to law enforcement and has been seen in the Middle Georgia area, is likely armed and considered dangerous, police said.
Also, a separate reward of up to $10,000 is being offered in the Chevron slaying, and a $7,000 reward in the Barberitos killing, Selby said Tuesday night.
The emphasis of the reward money is on Franz because an arrest warrant has been issued and his arrest could possibly solve the other two killings, Selby said. The rewards offered separately were put up by those on behalf of the victims in the Chevron and Barberitos killings.
Photos of the shooter in the Barberitos and Chevron armed-robbery homicides taken from surveillance video are strikingly similar, as are similarities in the physical descriptions, clothing, mannerisms and weapons, Evans said. Reasons for a possible link between the Tanglewood and Chevron slayings other than proximity in time and location have not been disclosed. Evans declined to elaborate.
A chilling detail in the Barberitos and Chevron killings is that the victims were apparently shot after the robberies had been completed, Evans said at the news conference.
"Does that make it more heinous ? That's an opinion, right? In my opinion, absolutely," Evans said.
A second victim in the Barberitos armed robbery, a 21-year-old Centerville man, remains hospitalized at the Medical Center, Navicent Health. He is expected to fully recover, Evans said.
Mayor Randy Toms said at the news conference he is considering asking council members to withdraw the ban on city employees carrying weapons in city buildings and in city vehicles. He also encouraged more citizens to make the effort to receive a carry permit and to take any available safety classes on carrying and using weapons.
"We need to stand up for our city and let those criminal-minded individuals know that we will fight for the safety of our community and for the safety of our families, and we are serious about it," Toms said.
Barberitos posted on its Facebook page its sadness and anguish at the loss of one its employees and injury of another and expressed appreciation for kind words and sentiments.
"While the investigation is ongoing, we want to first and foremost send our thoughts and prayers out to the families of our employees," another Barberitos Facebook post said. "There are never good explanations for this type of incident, but we will work tirelessly to assist the police during their ongoing investigation and to ensure that the employees' families have our support during this emotional and difficult time."
Martin Kohnen, the owner of Barberitos, and James Clark, the restaurant's manager, attended the press conference, as did Warner Robins council members, city employees, law enforcement officers from multiple agencies and other elected officials.
A few hours before his death, Moore posted this on his Facebook page, "Got myself a better job and the Infiniti is fixed. It’s a good day."
Kim Blackerby was among those who posted a response after his death. She wrote, "RIP young man. You absolutely did not deserve what happened to you. I'm deeply saddened by your death and for the pain and suffering your family and friends are now left with. Bless your soul and bless your family as they grieve."
Anyone with any information on the homicides should contact Warner Robins police Detective Justin Clark at (478) 302-5380, or Macon Regional Crimestoppers at 1-877-68CRIME.