Security guard shoots suspected robber on Jacksonville's Westside

Police say man pepper-sprayed guard; girlfriend also arrested

By Destiny McKeiver - Multi-media journalist, Crystal Chen - Assignment editor/reporter, Zachery Lashway - Reporter/anchor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A man who tried to rob a Westside business Thursday was stopped in his tracks when a security guard shot him, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Officers were dispatched to the Cyber Spot game room on 103rd Street around midnight. When they arrived, they found a suspected robber with a gunshot wound to his stomach. Investigators said he tried to rob the business and pepper-sprayed a security guard before he was shot by the guard.

The suspect's name has not been released by police, but News4Jax has learned that he is Timothy King, 26. According to the Duval County jail database, King is charged with battery on a licensed security officer and strong-arm robbery.

King's girlfriend, Whitney Lanier, was questioned by detectives and then also charged with battery and strong-arm robbery, according to Lanier's brother. She appeared before a Duval County judge Thursday on the charges.

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking photo of Whitney Lanier

Lanier's brother, Gaylon Mayo, said his sister wasn't involved in the crime.

"I think that she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong person -- just accused because of association with the wrong person," Mayo said. "Whitney is a good girl, a good, wholesome girl. She goes to school and goes to work every day to get to have something in life. She’s not the type of girl to commit any crimes -- especially the crime she is being accused of."

Mayo said he believes his sister is dealing with a lot after their mother died in November.

"My mother kicked her out of the house before she died because she wouldn’t leave the dude alone," Mayo said. "Now that she passed, she wanted to bring him back into her home."

The security guard told News4Jax he has never experienced anything like this. He said everyone inside the game room was unharmed and nothing was stolen. While he wasn't injured, his eyes were irritated from the pepper spray attack.

News4Jax used JSO's crime-mapping system and found several crimes have taken place within a half-mile radius in the past six months, including a shooting in August in which Heidy Villanueva, 7, was killed just a few feet away in the same plaza.

Moises Moreno, who owns El Tapatio in the shopping complex, said he wished Jacksonville police would patrol the area more, particularly after Heidy was caught in the crossfire of a shootout right in front of his store.

WATCH: Westside business owner says crime is out of hand

"Please help us and watch, not just for me, but for everyone, especially the young people," Moreno said. "I’m just hoping police around this area really watch closer to us here. It’s a lot of bad people around."

Moreno said he doubts crime will slow down any time soon and it makes him feel vulnerable.

"Especially when someone in this place -- in my store and restaurant -- takes things because they know there’s no officer around who can stop it," Moreno said.

The owner of Cyber Spot was not available for comment Thursday.

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