Florida Man Killed After Attempted Robbery Using Fake Gun

A Florida man was shot and killed after a failed attempt to rob another man with a fake gun made from a screwdriver duct-taped to a piece of wood, according to Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

The attempted robbery victim, Christian MacDonald, 44, had arranged to meet with Robert Rafael Cruceta Pimentel, 31, on December 19 in the parking lot of the Tropicana Resort Motel in Davenport before midnight to purchase marijuana from him, according to deputies with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office reported that Harold Omar Sepulveda-Cruz, 33, was in the car with Pimentel and told him that he needed some quick cash and wanted to “hit a lick” or rob someone.

Once in the car, MacDonald and Cruceta Pimentel tried to negotiate a deal for the marijuana while Sepulveda-Cruz was waiting nearby at a convenience store. When Cruceta Pimentel got in the car with the victim, Sepulveda-Cruz jumped in the back behind MacDonald.

According to the sheriff, MacDonald pleaded with Sepulveda-Cruz, begging him to “not do this” because he had kids and it was Christmastime. Still, Sepulveda-Cruz told him that he was going to shoot him if he didn’t hand over the money and marijuana.

Fearing for his life, MacDonald pulled out a 9mm handgun, shooting behind him ten times, striking and killing Sepulveda-Cruz.

Judd pointed out how in the end, Cruceta Pimentel could have been a real friend and lent Sepulveda-Cruz the money instead of costing him his life.

“If our robber, Harold Cruz, as the information came to us, was high on drugs that night and needing to hit a lick for a quick fix, if his buddy had just loaned him $100, he’d still be alive today,” said Judd.

“So while Robert had $900 in his pocket, he sat there while Harold got shot over a $140 and an eighth of an ounce of marijuana,” he added.

After gathering the facts, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office concluded that MacDonald was the victim in this case.

“At this point in time, it certainly appears even though he was committing by buying a small amount of marijuana, he certainly was the victim of a (planned) robbery by his drug dealer and his drug dealer’s buddy,” Judd said.

MacDonald has not been charged with a crime, but the investigation is ongoing.
Cruceta Pimentel was charged with second-degree murder and felony murder along with nine additional charges. He was denied bond.

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