Columbia Co. sheriff's deputies search for shooter

Security guard, woman bystander shot outside Lake City Elks Lodge

Columbia County Sheriff's Office photo of Robert Dell Church
Columbia County Sheriff's Office photo of Robert Dell Church

LAKE CITY, Fla. – Deputies in Columbia County are investigating a double shooting early Saturday morning outside the Elks Lodge in Lake City.

The Sheriff's Office says an argument between two unknown women and a single man began in the club at closing time.  Deputies say the on-sight security guard attempted to separate the people involved and escorted them outside the club on N.E. Washington Street about 2:30 a.m.

Authorities say once outside, the guard fell to the ground during a struggle.  The suspect, 29-year-old Robert Church, reportedly went to a vehicle in the parking lot, retrieved a handgun and returned. Deputies say Church shot the guard once and fled the area.

The guard, whose name was not given, was transported to UF Shands in Gainesville by ambulance, where his condition is currently unknown. The bullet that passed through the guard also stuck a woman bystander. She was taken by her husband to Lake Shore Hospital and she was later transferred to UF Shands.

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office has issued a lookout for Church and is actively seeking his location. He is described as 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing 235 pounds.

If anyone has information on Church's whereabouts or this shooting, contact the Sheriff's Office at 386-719-2005 or Crime Stoppers of Columbia County at 386-754-7099