from the internet cafe’s security cameras showing the hold-up men charging into the establishment and pointing their guns at the customers. Then a white man with a handgun comes charging out at them firing at them and they flee as he continues firing.)
By Austin L. Miller
Published: Friday, July 13, 2012 at 6:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, July 14, 2012 at 12:29 a.m.
Two men who attempted to hold up an Internet cafe were shot and injured by a patron of the business Friday night, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff’s officials said they got a call at 9:54 p.m. about an armed robbery at Palms Internet Cafe, 8444 SW State Road 200. When deputies arrived at the scene, patrons outside the business told them that two men in masks—one armed with a baseball bat and the other with a handgun—had barged into the business. The robbers told the approximately 30 patrons to get on the floor, and they demanded money.
Officials said one of the patrons, Samuel Williams, drew his own handgun and shot at the robbers, according to sheriff’s officials.
Both robbers began running toward the front door, and the patron fired several more shots as they fled.
The two men got into a car parked nearby and fled.
Not long afterward, deputies got a call about two men at a Marion Oaks residence who were telling people there that they had been shot while at Scott Carrigan Baseball Park on Southeast 17th Street in Ocala. Police Department officers went to the ball field but found no evidence of a shooting there, according to sheriff’s officials.
The two men were transported—one by helicopter—to Shands at the University of Florida in Gainesville. The Sheriff’s Office identified them as Davis G. Dawkins and Duwayne Henderson, both 19. Dawkins has a Dunnellon address. His alleged accomplice has an Ocala address, officials said.
Dawkins had a superficial wound in his left arm, but Henderson was shot in two places: his left buttock and his right hip.
Locally, neither of the men have a criminal record, authorities said.
“I feel horrible. It doesn’t feel good. It makes you think about life’s decisions, and how you should live your life,” Henderson said in an interview with the Star-Banner at the jail on Saturday afternoon.
Hours after his release from the hospital, Henderson, who talked about the pain he feels in his buttock and hip, said the plan was to “barge in, get the money and leave.” He said “he never expected anyone to be armed.”
“The gun was broken and rusty and wasn’t loaded. Nobody was going to get hurt,” he said, standing with crutches.
Retrieving the customers’ phones was what he said was their “main priority.” That way, he said, the customers could not call law enforcement officials.
Henderson theorizes the reason why he was caught off guard is because, when Dawkins entered the business, he busted a computer monitor with the baseball bat and “glass got into his face.”
“He couldn’t warn me,” Henderson said.
With the glass temporarily blinding his friend, Henderson noticed two women were behind the counter and he thought that was “fishy.” Turning around to see what the women were doing, Henderson said he was shot.
“I turned around to run and my leg gave out. That was when I got shot. I hit the ground, and he was still shooting. I thought I was going to die,” Henderson said.
Henderson said that, “by the grace of God,” his “leg came back.”
“I ran,” he said.
Henderson said he and Dawkins drove to a house to see a woman he said “is like a second mother” to him.
At the Marion Oaks residence in the 13000 block of Southwest 47th Terrace, deputies found what they believe was the getaway vehicle, a four-door black Nissan Sentra. The car was towed to the Sheriff’s Office for processing.
“I couldn’t breathe. I had lost so much blood. I don’t know what she did, but she revived me,” he said, likening the experience to coming back from the dead.
The occupants inside the home called law enforcement, he said.
At the scene in Marion Oaks, a deputy and an evidence technician searched a large open grassy area across the street for evidence, which was collected and placed in brown paper bags.
None of the residents or visitors there wanted to talk with a Star-Banner reporter.
At the Internet cafe, investigators collected a .45-caliber handgun they believe was carried by Henderson, which he confirmed in his interview.
Henderson was charged with attempted robbery with a firearm and felony criminal mischief.
Interviewed at the hospital, Dawkins admitted to Detective Erik Dice that he took part in the robbery, according to sheriff’s officials. The young man said he had the bat, which had been in his vehicle. Dawkins told the detective he was confronted by two people at the ball field and forced to assist in the robbery.
Officials said Dawkins previously had worked for the cafe but had been fired.
He was arrested for attempted robbery with a firearm and felony criminal mischief and taken to the Marion County Jail. He declined to be interviewed by a reporter.
Henderson said he met Dawkins through a mutual friend about four or five months ago, and that he usually hangs out at Dawkins’ Dunnellon residence.
Because Dawkins used to work at the cafe, Henderson said Dawkins told him there was “a lot of money there.” Both of them, he said, gathered the gun and bat for the robbery attempt.
He said he went to Dawkins’ place around 8 p.m. Friday night, where the plan was hatched.
Their actions frightened the customers at the Internet cafe.
“It was scary,” said Kristy Kuhn, a customer. “It wasn’t my idea of a good Friday night.”
She said she had been sitting in the second row playing a game and heard loud noises and voices yelling, telling them to “put our wallets out and get on the ground,” Kuhn said.
A few seconds after that, she heard gunshots. Kuhn said she hid underneath a desk.
Ruth and Neville Allison, also patrons of the Internet cafe, said they saw the incident unfold.
They said the robbers—one with a gun and the other with what looked like a bat wrapped in white tape—entered from the parking lot.
The robber with the bat smashed one of the computers, the couple said. Then the robbers ordered everybody to get down on the ground and take out their wallets and whatever valuables they had.
Williams—who declined to be interviewed—was sitting in the row nearest the door. He immediately took out his handgun, took aim and started firing, witnesses said.
Neville Allison said the two robbers then tumbled out the door. The robber with the gun may have dropped his weapon, he said. Williams told Dice he was at the Internet cafe with his wife and was afraid the suspects were going to shoot somebody. He told the detective he was scared and that he began shooting at the men.
Early Saturday morning, the business and its parking lot had been roped off with crime scene tape. Numbered evidence markers were outside next to sunglasses, a plastic bag and a blue bag.
Also outside the Internet cafe and in front of neighboring businesses were numerous smaller markers to indicate drops of blood.
Inside the Internet cafe, a chair had been knocked over and a few more of the larger markers could be seen. The manager of the cafe declined to comment.
Though Henderson said he doesn’t blame Williams for shooting, he takes exception with Williams shooting at him while he was down.
“I was down, and I’m not going to continue to shoot you,” he said.