Family pleas for info on home invasion murder in St. Pete

9:25 PM, Jun 20, 2012   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, FL -- As the manhunt continues for the four suspects in yesterday's deadly, St. Petersburg home invasion robbery, family members are making a personal plea for anyone with information in the case to come forward.

"He didn't deserve this," said Kenneth Shaw, barely holding back the tears.

Photo Gallery: Home invasion security camera pictures

Shaw can't stop thinking about the violent death suffered by his older brother, Rick, early Tuesday morning in the 7000 block of Orpine Drive.

The 41-year-old father of two was murdered just before 5 a.m. during the second of two home invasion robberies, just 25 minutes apart.

Shaw's s home security system captured the chilling images of four men busting down his door. Police have said the crime was not completely random. But relatives find it hard to believe.

"I don't see how anyone who knew my brother would kill him," said Kenneth, who described Rick as the kind of guy who would give you the shirt off his back. Kind, and respectful.

Rick Shaw's wife Tory had passed away from cancer just a week before, so aside from resolving the murder, their biggest concern now is for the couple's two sons. Trevor, 20 and Alex, 18.

Alex, they say, was in another room with a gun pointed at his head, when he heard the gunshot that killed his father.

"It was very traumatic. He doesn't like being at the house anymore," said Kenneth, "He stays with my mom and dad right now. He just can't stay here."

Meanwhile, neighbors say police have been in the area now, showing them the surveillance video on portable DVD players, hoping someone recognizes something about the suspects.

Cindy Chissus, a neighbor whose husband was shown the video, says it's placed the area on edge.

"It makes the whole community feel like they're a little more vulnerable. Like you don't know if you're next," she said.

Police say it's understandable. Although they have not yet backed away from earlier statements that the victims in both cases appear to have been targeted, they recognize the suspects remain at large.

"They've proven themselves to disregard human life and proven to be violent. These are people we need to get off the streets," said St. Petersburg police spokesman Bill Proffitt.

The Shaw family could not agree more.

Which is why they made a personal plea.

"Right now we're just putting it in God's hands that it will be taken care of," said Janet Hartel, Rick's sister-in-law. "These four people out there are somehow, some way, going to be punished."

"If you know something," said Kenneth Shaw, "don't hesitate to call the police."

St. Petersburg police had still not said what, if any, connection Shaw's case had with the home invasion just minutes before in the 5800 block of 1st street north.

The family says investigators are working leads in the case.

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