Deputies search for robber in violent home invasion

- Deputies are searching for the robbery suspect in a violent home invasion in Seminole that happened in broad daylight Wednesday. 

An elderly couple is shaken after a man forced his way into their home Wednesday afternoon, armed with a gun. 

The incident occurred at approximately 3:45 p.m. on the 11000 block of Oak Avenue North in unincorporated Seminole.

According to deputies, 72-year-old Robert Martin visited the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tampa earlier that day. He drove back to his home at around 3:45 p.m.

Shortly after Martin returned home, deputies say, someone knocked on the front door. Martin and his wife, 71-year-old Kathleen Zingler, answered the door when a man armed with a black handgun forced his way into their home and threatened them. 

Martin took action to defend his home and his wife. He grabbed the barrel of the suspect's handgun, and a struggle ensued.

During the struggle, deputies say the suspect's handgun discharged. No one was struck by the bullet. 

However, the intruder regained control of the gun and demanded Martin and Zingler to hand over their cash and valuables. 

Deputies say that the suspect forced both victims into a bedroom and made them get on the ground as the suspect fled the scene.

The suspect got away with cash and valuables belonging to the victims.

Martin suffered a minor injury to his hand and was treated by paramedics at the scene. Zingler was not injured.

The suspect is described as a white male, approximately 20-years-old, tall, slender build, wearing all black clothing, a winter jacket, clear glasses, and carrying a black revolver.

Deputies believe that the suspect left the scene in a vehicle but there is no vehicle description at this time.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office at (727) 582-6200, or to remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS or
www.crimestoppersofpinellas.org.

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