St. Petersburg Police have "strong leads" in the murder of a 20-year Army veteran who was shot while confronting potential car thieves, investigators said Monday.
Police said Floyd Lassiter, 53, caught two people trying to steal his car early Saturday morning and tried to stop them. One of them opened fire, shooting him multiple times.
"We're trying to cope with it. We got together yesterday and all, trying to cope with it," said Walt Lassiter, the victim's brother. "We're still in shock. It's kind of hard to believe that he's gone."
Investigators suspect the people responsible for Floyd Lassiter's death are the same criminals who broke into his house last week and stole several items, including his car keys.
Mike Puetz, a police spokesperson, said detectives are hoping to make arrests in the coming weeks.
"They do feel like they've got a number of different leads to pursue at this point, they're actively doing that,” Puetz said. "They have a lot of work ahead of them during the course of the next several weeks, but we know they're going to try very hard and they feel like they're going to have success ultimately in closing this case."
Lassiter was in the Army for more than two decades. He spent the last 14 years working at Crown Eurocars in St. Pete.
Lassiter's brother spent 27 years in the Army and said the brutality of war couldn't even prepare him to deal with his brother's murder.
"I lost a lot of good friends in Vietnam and places like that, so I'm used to that environment, but not with my blood," he said, adding he has a message for anyone who knows the criminals who did this. "Turn them in. Turn them in."
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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