2 business partners shot, killed each other in Lakeland, Polk sheriff says

A shooting in Lakeland on Thursday that left two men dead was the result of an ongoing dispute between two business partners, investigators said.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office responded to a shooting around 3 p.m. at a business located at 3135 U.S. 92 East, near Fish Hatchery Road.

When deputies arrived, they found two men dead. Investigators found 39-year-old Xavier Figueroa's body inside the business, and said 31-year-old Akeido Bennett was found dead inside his truck nearby.

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Detectives believe the two business partners "mutually shot each other as a result of an ongoing dispute." While Figueroa died at the scene, the sheriff's office said Bennett attempted to flee in his truck but died as a result of his gunshot injury.

"This was an avoidable tragedy stemming from a disagreement between business partners. We all have an obligation to our friends, our families, and society at large to talk things out instead of turning to violence," Sheriff Grady Judd said in a statement. "These men would still be alive today, and their families would not be grieving, had they been able to work out their differences civilly."