Police: Man arrested in Family Dollar robbery, shooting

JSO also investigating Wednesday robberies at Dollar General, Lowe's

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 35-year-old man has been charged in Tuesday's robbery of a Family Dollar store, during which a 72-year-old customer was shot, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Ryshawn Woolbright was booked into the Duval County Jail at 3:30 a.m. Thursday on charges of armed robbery, aggravated battery and battery. He is being held on $1 million bond.

Jacksonville police said they suspect the same man also held up a Dollar General and Lowe's on Wednesday.

Police released surveillance photos from the robbery at the Family Dollar on North Main Street, which was held up about 6 p.m. Tuesday. The robber was armed with a silver revolver and jumped the store's counter, taking the cash register drawer, police said. 

A customer pushed the man as he jumped back over to leave, and the gun went off. The customer was shot in the chest, police said.

News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said it doesn't matter how the gun discharged when it comes to prosecution. 

"Intent doesn't matter in this case, whether he was shot accidentally or not," Smith said. "The point is, he was in the commission of a robbery, committing a felony also."

The next day, the Dollar General on Dunn Avenue was robbed shortly after it opened Wednesday morning. Police said they think it was held up by the same man. A shot was fired in that robbery, but no one was injured.

The manager of the Dollar General, who was the one at the counter during the robbery, said he's seen the surveillance photos released from the Family Dollar and that it's the same man who robbed his store.

The manager, who asked not to be named, said in the past month, he’s seen two guns and a knife. Other employees said they too are sick and tired of the crime.

“The emotions, you know, everybody is just fed up. This is the second robbery within the month, so everybody's just fed up with it,” one employee said.

Police said they think the same man could also be behind a robbery Wednesday at the Lowe's on Lenox Avenue.

According to the police report, the robber at Lowe's is about 6 feet tall and weighs about 140 pounds and has dreadlocks and a mustache, with three teardrop tattoos on the left side of his face. He wore a blue or turquoise T-shirt and was armed with a sawed-off shotgun. He grabbed the cash register at the garden center and got into a pickup truck where a woman was waiting for him, police said.

Florida Paint Company, a contractor down the road from the Lowe's, takes extra precautions to prevent crime. The front door remains locked and a doorbell must be pressed for entry.

"We always have pistols handy, and there's the shotgun," said the owner, who asked not to be named. "There are a lot of cameras, and all the employees know we have cameras. Most robberies are inside jobs anyway."

Woolbright has lengthy arrest history in Duval County and convictions in 2000 for robbery and car theft, grand theft and possession and sale of cocaine in 2010. 

When News4Jax went to a home listed in records for Woolbright on Friday, no one would speak on camera. Neighbors said they didn't know him well, but knew his family. 

Smith said officers are probably working to connect the man to other robberies. To do that, Smith said, police will try to gather physical evidence and see if witnesses at each location can identify him. 

"It's quite brazen just to go into several different robberies, maybe you're doing it the same way and wearing the same clothing. He's just really not concerned about the investigative aspect of it," Smith said. 

On Friday, News4Jax spoke to family members of a Family Dollar employee who was working at the store Tuesday. Family said she's still shaken by having a gun pointed in her face. 

"You're not expecting anything like that," Smith said. "Go through the store so many times during the week and never being involved in a robbery or seeing a robbery and then all of a sudden it's happening to you."

Anyone with information about the robberies is asked to call JSO at 904-630-0500. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS. 

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