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Longboat Key Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017 4 years ago

Top Story - August: Longboat rocked by double homicide

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Catch up on the top news items of 2017 with the Observer's Digital Year in Review.

Longboat was rocked Aug. 4 by an overnight robbery at the Zota Beach Resort that ended with the shooting deaths of a night manager and a security guard.

By Aug. 9, the Longboat Key Police Department, working with Manatee Sheriff’s Office Homicide Investigative Unit, arrested part-time Zota security guard Darryl Hanna Jr. without incident at a home in east Bradenton. After pleading not guilty and being held in the Manatee County Jail without bond, Hanna feel into a stroke-induced coma on Sept. 10 and has not awoken, authorities said. 

The shooting was the first on Longboat since 2000 and just the third homicide there in more than 30 years. 

Longboat Key Police Chief Pete Cumming was on scene the day of the shooting and helped lead the investigation that identified Darryl Hanna Jr. as the suspect.

"Our jaws dropped,'' Ron Raczak told the Observer, who was staying nearby on a vacation on the day of the shooting. "Heard nothing, it's just wild. This kind of stuff doesn't happen in Longboat."

Hanna was charged with two counts of second degree murder and one count of robbery. After the shooting, police said Hanna took $900 from the hotel cash register.

The victims were Timothy Hurley, the hotel's 59-year-old night desk manager from Sarasota, and 51-year-old Kevin Carter of Bradenton, a security guard with Victory Security, a private security company with offices in North Palm Beach and Naples. Responding police officers found their bodies inside the hotel. 

Police released security video connected with the incident, showing a man in dark slacks and an untucked white shirt walking through the lobby of the hotel, which opened in late June on the north end of Longboat Key. Investigators used the video as well as the island’s license-plate recognition system to identify Hanna.

Zota, which opened in June, resumed normal operations within 24 hours. The resort hired additional security personnel following the shooting.

 

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