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Longboat Key murder suspect worked at targeted resort

Darryl Hanna Jr. was a part-time security guard at the Zota Beach Resort.

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  • | 10:54 a.m. August 10, 2017
Longboat Key Police Chief Peter Cumming speaks at a press conference Aug. 10.
Longboat Key Police Chief Peter Cumming speaks at a press conference Aug. 10.
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Darryl Hanna Jr., the man arrested in connection with the Aug. 4 robbery and double homicide at the Zota Beach Resort, was a part-time security guard at the resort, Police Chief Pete Cumming said at a news conference Aug 10. 

"(The perpetrator) was a violent criminal with the intent to commit robbery and murder," Cumming said.

Darryl Hanna Jr.
Darryl Hanna Jr.

Hanna was charged with two counts of second degree murder and one count of robbery. Cumming said prosecutors could upgrade the charges to first degree as the investigation continues.

The shooting in the Zota lobby in the early morning hours of Aug. 4 killed 51-year-old security guard Kevin Carter of Bradenton and 59-year-old night desk manager Timothy Hurley of Sarasota. After the shooting, Cumming said Hanna took $900 from the hotel cash register.

“There’s no reason to commit murder in this case if the intent was strictly robbery,” Cumming said.

Cumming said Hanna worked for Victory Security of Florida, the same employer as Carter. He resigned on Aug. 3 and Cumming said Hanna was upset with his former employer, but didn't suspect it was an inside job.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit, an employee of Zota contacted police after security camera video was released around noon Aug. 4, saying the man on the video appeared to be Hanna, based on the mannerisms, walking style and general body appearance of the man on the video. The employee said he had worked directly with Hanna on several occasions.

The caller went on to say that Hanna had told him he was not making enough money as a part-time employee of Victory, though he had asked his supervisor for more hours. The caller also said Hanna would have knowledge of the hotel front desk cash drawers and safe.

Detectives took a look at security video that showed Hanna on the job at Zota in an attempt to compare general height, build and walking style. Based on that, they estimated Hanna to be between 5-foot-9 and 6 feet. Hanna’s drivers license lists him as 5-10.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit, Ron Filbert, the owner of Victory Security, confirmed Hanna was a substitute guard and was dependable, could be called to fill in on short notice and always responded to work. Filbert told investigators that following media reports of the incident at Zota, Hanna was the only employee who didn’t call the security agency to learn more about what had happen or who had been killed. When told that a fellow employee had been killed, Filbert said Hanna asked, “How many times did they get shot?”

On July 21, Carter had reported a suspicious incident from the hotel. According to a police report, officers responded to the resort at 2:10 a.m. and met with Carter, who said while walking the property he spotted a woman sitting in an idling white car, possibly a Toyota, in the parking lot. He also saw a man leaning against a wall nearby.

When Carter spoke to the woman, she said she had just registered for a room online. Suspicious, he returned inside to check on the registration and to call police.

When officers arrived, the car and two people were gone. A check of the area turned up nothing and the case was closed. 

At the press conference, Cumming said he couldn't comment on that incident and how it may relate to the double homicide case. He said investigations are continuing and a $50,000 award was still available for citizens with further tips on the case.  

Victory Security Vice President of Operations Brian Barca said in an email the company was not aware of anything relating to the situation beyond what had been announced by police. 

Longboat police, working as a part of the Manatee County homicide unit, combined to collect evidence and piece together a picture of Hanna as the perpetrator of what Cumming called a "senseless" crime. After receiving several leads, police identified Hanna in the early stages of the investigation. He was arrested in east Bradenton on Aug. 9. Cumming said Longboat's license plate readers on the north and south end of the island helped identify him as a suspect. 

Hanna was arrested earlier this year in Sarasota and charged with petty larceny. He was also arrested in 2008 in Manatee County and charged with resisting arrest.

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

“Our residents are not accustomed to this kind of violence, and they won’t become accustomed to it," Cumming said. "This was an isolated incident, an ugly, horrible incident and the quick resolution to that, and I can reassure people this is a safe community and it will continue to stay that way."

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