Riverview, FL -- Two of the men originally arrested in connection with a deadly stabbing at a 7-Eleven store in Riverview early Wednesday have been released. No charges have been filed against them... at least, not yet.
It's a development that left the victim's friends and co-workers stunned.
Outside the store on Bloomingdale Ave., there's a growing memorial for the victim, 58-year-old Kenneth Redding. At this point, Hillsborough detectives say they only have enough evidence to charge the man who allegedly stabbed Redding to death.
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"I can't believe that they let them go. It's ridiculous," said customer Steve Smith.
Smith and other customers could not fathom why two of the young men investigators first called suspects were abruptly let go within hours of their arrest in Sarasota County.
"I mean, I just can't believe it," said customer Belinda Williams.
"Aiding and abetting, right? After the fact?" Smith questioned.
Hillsborough County detectives say at this point, there's no proof, no witness, and no surveillance video that shows 25-year-old Travis Beasley or 23-year-old Brandan Green were with Lawrence Bongiovanni when the 20-year-old allegedly ambushed and stabbed Redding more than 50 times.
"After consulting with the state attorney's office, we determined they would make better material witnesses than co-conspirators in this case," said HCSO Spokesman Det. Larry McKinnon, "so therefore that's how they're listed right now."
"They gotta know something. They definitely gotta know something," said customer Ryan Zavalick.
Detectives say it's possible the three men met up after the attack and started cashing lotto scratch-off tickets allegedly stolen by Bongiovanni at the 7-Eleven, and that perhaps once they realized what had happened, they dropped Bongiovanni off.
That creates new questions.
"Then you're gonna have to ask yourself, should you have called the sheriff's office? Or should you have notified somebody?" said Det. McKinnon.
Beasley and Green, say detectives, have been cooperating. Bongiovanni, who was captured walking by the roadside in Charlotte County, remains behind bars, charged with first degree murder.
At Green's address in Brandon, a woman would not open the door, and declined to comment. At Beasley's address in Riverview, neighbors told us he wasn't around to answer our questions, but insisted he was no criminal.
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"He's a good kid that you guys have got all misunderstood," said one neighbor.
"He's a very good kid. He's a hard worker. That's all you need to know," said another.
Redding's friends and co-workers say the victim was a hard worker.
"It's just so sad to think somebody's life is worth something like that," said Willimas.
It's possible Green and Beasley could face charges in the future.
Detectives say they're still searching for a motive in this case. Stealing the lottery tickets, they say, appeared to be an afterthought.
They're trying to figure out if Bongiovanni and Redding may have crossed paths before, perhaps a previous conflict at the 7-Eleven or somewhere else. At this point, they haven't made the connection.