Date: December 4, 2001 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact:

Aaron Flint, (863) 534-6377 or 502-8262 pager

Burglary Suspect Shot, Killed

Polk County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to the scene of a shooting at John's Drive-Thru, located at 1515 South Combee Rd., at approximately 2 a.m. this morning. 

The owner of the store, John Samanns, DOB 5/20/64, of 2950 Willow Wood Dr. in Mulberry, was awakened by his store's alarm at approximately 1:45 a.m.  Samanns, who also reported his business being burglarized on Nov. 12, 2001 and has since had surveillance cameras stolen, was inside his store asleep when a burglary suspect tried to pry open the door.   

After waking up to the alarm, Samanns witnessed Lary D. Russell, DOB 2/16/60, last known address of 216 Noxom St. in Auburndale, holding an object and trying to enter the door.  At this point, the store owner fired at least one shot from a handgun hitting Russell in the torso area of his body.  Russell died at the scene as a result of the shooting. 

Polk Sheriff's detectives will provide the State Attorney's Office with a report concerning the incident.  The State Attorney's Office will review the information and make a final determination.


Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

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