LAKE WALES, Fla. – A man set fire to two women, including a pregnant one, and shot a man who tried to help them during a robbery attempt Thursday at an insurance business, police said.
Leon Davis Jr., whose 30th birthday is Friday, walked into the Nationwide Insurance office shortly after 3:30 p.m. and demanded money from two female employees, Police Chief Herbert Gillis said. Davis was not satisfied with the amount of money he was given, threw gasoline on the women and set them on fire, Gillis told The Ledger of Lakeland.
Davis then allegedly shot Brandon Griessman, 33, in the nose after he tried to help the women. The suspect fled leading authorities on a manhunt until he turned himself in at a Polk County Sheriff's Office substation about 7 p.m.
Yvonne Bustamonte, 26, Jane Luciono, 23, who was six-months pregnant, were flown to Orlando hospitals in critical condition, Gillis said.
Luciono underwent an emergency Caesarean section delivery, Gillis told the newspaper. The condition of the baby was not immediately known.
"I've worked in this business for thirteen years and not seen or heard of anything like this in my career here," Capt. Troy Schulze said. "I've never seen anything come close to this, violence-wise. It was heartless, absolutely heartless, for someone to do something like this."
Scott Headley, the owner of the Nationwide office, said Bustamonte has worked for him for nine years, and Luciono has worked for him for two years.
"I can't imagine someone can do something so cruel," Headley said.
Griessman was expected to undergo corrective surgery.
Davis, an Eagle Lake city employee, was suspended from his job after a Nov. 30 arrest on larceny charges, police said. It was not known what he did for the city. Davis had been on probation a July 6 grand theft conviction, according to the Florida Department of Corrections Web site.
Charges had not been filed as of Thursday night, but Gillis said he expected Davis to be charged with three counts of attempted murder and arson. It was not know if Davis had an attorney.