UPDATE: At 10:34 a.m., Wednesday, the Escambia County, Fla., Sheriff’s Office released the name of the victim killed in the shooting at O’Yes Lotto Tuesday afternoon.
Thomas Gerald Kroll, 74, the owner of the business, was shot and killed after an exchange of gunfire.
Two armed suspects entered the O’Yes Lotto shop on Highway 97, just over the Florida state line in an apparent robbery at about 1:35 p.m. Tuesday, November 6. One clerk, a white male, was shot and died inside the store. The two suspects fled, apparently on foot.
Witnesses described the two men as skinny and tall, about six feet each, wearing black ski masks. One was carrying a silver pistol.
At press time Tuesday, Deputy Mike Ward, public information officer with the Escambia County, Florida, Sheriff’s Department (ECFSD) could not release the victim’s name pending notification of the next of kin.
Units from ECFSD responded to the call, along with units from the Atmore Police Department, the Escambia County, Alabama, Sheriff’s Office, Atmore Ambulance, Walnut Hill Volunteer Fire Department and K-9 units from both ECFSD and the Florida Department of Corrections. Also responding and assisting in the all-out manhunt was a helicopter unit from the ECFSD.
An initial K-9 unit tried to get a trail on the suspects, but lost the scent quickly. A group of bloodhounds and their handlers from the Florida Department of Corrections was called to the scene, but they, too, failed to find a trail.
All law enforcement agencies filled the area, including the south side of Atmore, in an attempt to locate the suspects.
The parking lot of O’Yes Lotto was blocked off for more than an hour as investigators collected evidence and interviewed witnesses. A forensics team from the ECFSD was on scene to assist in the murder investigation.
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