Reward offered in fatal shooting

$20,000 put up for information on Sept. 14 robbery, killing at movie store in Waverly

September 26, 2006|By Lynn Anderson | Lynn Anderson,sun reporter

Relatives of a man who was fatally shot at a Waverly Blockbuster gathered at the store yesterday to ask anyone who might have witnessed the crime or knows any other details to contact detectives, and police announced a $20,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.

"We need your help to bring closure to our family and justice to the situation," said Cheryl Green, one of a handful of relatives of Antonio Gilmore who gathered with police at the movie rental store to make the announcement. "Please, someone knows something. Do the right thing."

Gilmore, the sales manager, was shot about 8:30 p.m. Sept. 14 during a botched robbery. Police said they have learned of people who discussed the crime with two men, as well as people who witnessed the men fleeing the store, which is housed in an old post office on Homestead Street. Nothing was taken from the business, police said.

"We know that there are people who have discussed this death," said Col. Frederick H. Bealefeld III, head of the Police Department's detective division. "We are urging these good citizens to come forward."

Blockbuster officials have contributed $18,000 in reward money and Metro Crime Stoppers has provided $2,000. A spokeswoman for Blockbuster said yesterday that the Waverly store, which closed after Gilmore's death, reopened Friday, the day after the slain manager's funeral and burial.

"We want resolution for the family, the community and our employees," said Susan Baker, vice president with U.S. operations for Blockbuster.

Baker said that employees at the store are still upset about Gilmore's death and that some are receiving counseling services. An armed security guard dressed in a black T-shirt with the word "police" on it stood guard inside the store.

Outside, Gilmore's relatives stood in clusters, hugging and shedding quiet tears.

Minner Green, who raised Gilmore and his five brothers and sisters, wept in the arms of several women and turned her back to the store as if she couldn't bear to contemplate the violence that had occurred inside.

Another relative, Deborah Gilmore, the wife of Gilmore's brother Garcia, a 16-year city Police Department veteran, had to be led from the store because she was in such emotional distress. Deborah Gilmore said she visited her brother-in-law at the store several hours before he was killed and that he hugged her and told her he loved her.

"That was God that brought me to him," she told The Sun in a recent interview.

Gilmore's wife, Janice, stood alone at the Blockbuster's front door yesterday. Then, suddenly, her eyes started to tear.

"I'm doing OK," she said, waving off consolation. "I just need to stand here by myself."

Gilmore's sister Cynthia Eames said she came to the Blockbuster early in the morning the day after her brother was killed but that yesterday was the first time she had been back. She said it was painful to be back in the neighborhood where her brother died.

"It was difficult just knowing that his life had been taken here," she said. "But we were raised to believe that even though he is gone from this earth he is still with us."

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