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Friends on morning walk shot, beaten and robbed, police say

Cellphone, handgun stolen from victim

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POLK COUNTY, Fla. – Two friends, 68 and 88 years old, were taking their morning walk Monday when a group of young men targeted them, taking their property and then kicking and beating them, officials with the Bartow Police Department said.

The victims were walking on South Floral Avenue near the Polk County School Board offices at 5:30 a.m. when a while vehicle pulled up alongside them, Det. Jason Griffith said.

Three men jumped out of the vehicle, one of them was carrying a silver semi-automatic handgun and demanded the victim's property, police said. After stealing from the victims, the men proceeded to kick and beat the 68-year-old and the 88-year-old, finally shooting the younger victim once in the leg. The men then drove off, Griffith said.

Police said a cellphone and a firearm were stolen from one of the victims.

The three robbers are described as black men between 20 to 30 years old. The vehicle is a newer four-door car.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Jason Griffith at 863-534-5042, or to remain anonymous and contact Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS (8477). 


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