Family reacts to shooting arrest

Rajini Patel shot, killed during robbery

James Leonard Johnson (left) and Ernest Larry Grandison (right).
James Leonard Johnson (left) and Ernest Larry Grandison (right).

LAKE CITY, Fla. – The family of a Lake City store owner shot and killed during a robbery said it's little consolation that one of the suspects was behind bars.

On Saturday, police arrested James Leonard Johnson in Jacksonville.

Johnson, 23, is charged with felony murder in the first-degree and robbery.

"I'm glad finally something happened. I am. Best news I heard in a long time," said Frank Fulton, a family friend. "They finally getting him. Got one, hopefully get the other one pretty soon."

Lake City police identified the second suspect as Ernest Larry Grandison. Grandison, 42, is considered armed and dangerous.

Upon his arrest, Grandison will also be charged with first-degree murder and robbery.

The two are wanted in connection with an April 27th robbery that ended with the death of A&M Discount Beverage owner Rajni Patel. His wife, Daxa Patel, was not harmed during the robbery.

Patel's family said Rajini knew both men -- they came to the store regularly.

"Very shocking. It upset most of the community. Everybody felt it. Everybody feel's gratitude," said Ryan Layton. "One's down, and it's just a matter of time for the other."

A former neighbor of Grandison said she was surprised to hear he was accused of robbery and murder.

"I never knew him to be a violent person," said Kalandra Perry.

Channel 4 Crime Analyst Ken Jefferson said the search, which the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is a part of, is dangerous.

"Without disclosing certain things that police do to find people, just know they are working diligently to try and find this guy," said Jefferson. "This was a very gruesome crime. It didn't have to happen the way it did. Based on the facts I understand the victim was cooperating with the robbers and giving them what they demanded and he still got shot and killed."

Jefferson added that detectives are likely looking to Johnson for cooperation in their search.

An award of $10,000 is being offered for information on Grandison's whereabouts.

If you have any information on this case, call the Lake City Police Department at 386-719-2068.