The day after Thanksgiving, an armed man opened fire at Schlenker Automotive in Rocklege, Florida.
Armed with a .45 caliber handgun, the gunman fired indiscriminately in the automotive repair shop’s parking lot killing one employee, Roger Lee Smith, 50, and paralyzing another.
The gunman brought a large supply of spare ammunition for a prolonged shoot-out, but he never had the opportunity to use it. “The manager, who was a concealed weapons permit holder, came out and engaged in gunfire in the parking lot,” Rockledge police chief Joseph La Sata told Florida Today.
“The manager fled back inside the building, being chased by the gunman. Another Schlenker employee, who also had concealed weapons permit, engaged in gunfire with the suspect.”
“If not for the brave, quick thinking of the employees at Schlenker, this could have been a lot worse,” Chief La Sata said. “Mr. Bailey had multiple magazines on his person. He was intent on doing harm. The employees stepped up.”
Schlenker shot and wounded the suspect, Robert Lorenzo Bailey Jr., 28, of Cocoa. Bailey was taken to Health First’s Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne with two gunshot wounds. He’s being watched by police while recovering from his injuries.
Authorities are still investigating Bailey’s motive for the shooting. Chief La Sata said they have found no connection between Bailey and the automotive shop or any of the employees.