FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Detectives believe Nathaniel Petgrave used a victim's blood to write "4 STOP WAIT TIME" on the floor. They think Petgrave chose the number "4" because he thought the victim was his fourth and didn't know one of his victims survived.
Police said Petgrave shot two homeless men, ages 65 and 68, in their sleep Oct. 20 at a gas station at 3609 W. Broward Blvd. in Lauderhill.
"One was shot in the neck," Lauderhill police Chief Constance Stanley said at a news conference Wednesday. "He is our surviving victim."
Police also believe he fatally shot a 50-year-old man in the back of the head Oct. 21 outside a food store at 110 NW 11th Ave. in Fort Lauderdale.
Investigators said Petgrave broke into a Public Storage unit on Northwest 23rd Avenue a few days later on Oct. 27, stealing a handsaw and machete that he used to kill another homeless man.
Detectives found the items, along with a pipe, next to the victim's body. They were covered in blood.
Also next to the body was the blood-scrawled message, "4 STOP WAIT TIME."
"The 4, obviously, is going to relate to the fact that he thought it was his fourth homicide victim," Fort Lauderdale police Sgt. Steve Novak said.
Detectives found Petgrave in a black Chevrolet pickup truck that was reported stolen Sept. 18 in Miami Gardens. Police said Petgrave confessed to stealing the tools and told police officers that they will never find the gun he used in the shootings.
Petgrave faces two counts of premeditated murder and a charge of attempted premeditated murder. He was being held without bond.