Man trying to hold up store
killed by owner
Beach Post Staff Writer
Originally published here
on Tuesday, May 22, 2001
LAKE WORTH -- An armed robber who held up a
store across the street from the city police station Monday made his fatal
mistake when he turned his gun from the shop owner and toward a woman and baby
who came in the door, according to investigators.
That is when the store's owner, Noe Brewster,
grabbed his own gun and shot Orlando Guadalupe once in the face, killing him,
The woman Guadalupe had threatened was
Brewster's daughter-in-law and the baby his grandson, said relatives who
gathered around the 1106 Lucerne Ave. beeper business after the shooting.
No one else was hurt, police said, but
Brewster, 47, later was taken to an area hospital complaining of chest pains.
Police late Monday identified the robber as Guadalupe, 35, of 808-3 Tiffany
Drive W. in West Palm Beach.
Lake Worth police Sgt. Ed Riddle said the
shooting appeared to be self-defense and was "eerily similar" to
another daylight holdup that ended in a robber's death slightly more than a week
before. On May 11, jeweler Garry Bernardo shot to death one of two men who held
him up in his suburban Lake Worth pawnshop. Brewster, in fact, knows Bernardo,
family members said.
The daylight robbery of the store that faces
the police station also was "brazen," Riddle said
"I guess he couldn't read the sign that
says 'police,' " Riddle said.
The robber had apparently come to the store,
Beeper Stop, earlier to "case" it, Riddle said.
The man returned about 5 p.m. saying he wanted
to get a beeper. Brewster turned to get paperwork, he told police, and turned
back to face a semiautomatic handgun. He told police he had the chance to reach
for his weapon when the man pointed his gun at the woman and baby, threatening
to kill them if he didn't get money.
Several doors down, Jim Curran of All Type Air
Conditioning didn't hear the gunshot but heard screaming and ran outside to see
a woman running from the store, carrying a baby and calling for help.
Police interviewed Brewster and his
daughter-in-law at the police station, where Noe Brewster Jr. joined his wife
"I believe he saved their lives and his
own," Noe Brewster Jr. said later.
Brewster has owned the store for about a year
since retiring from the housing authority, his sister Emily Brewster Leal said.
He has had no serious problems and family members often visit, she said.
On Monday evening, the lights were still on in
the empty store. A playpen holding a child's toy and a bottle stood by the
window, a few yards from a pool of blood.
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