Arrest made in Bradenton smoke shop murder; 2 suspects still sought

Deputies in Manatee County continue searching for two other suspects involved in a deadly robbery of a smoke shop in Bradenton. 

In the last moments of Mohammed Hamed's life, he came face to face with two armed men.

"There were things there that they wanted to steal. They wanted to steal some product, they wanted to steal some cash, and when they got in there, things went bad," said Randy Warren with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office. 

An arrest affidavit details what deputies have uncovered so far. On Tuesday night around 11 p.m., the men forced Hamed to the back of the store and ordered him to open a safe in the bathroom. The armed suspects filled a bag with items from the store. 

Investigators said before they left, a man with an SKS rifle with a bayonet attached swung the rifle at Hamed's head. The suspect hit him with the bayonet and a shot was fired from the gun. 

That suspect was identified on Thursday as 20-year-old Amado Zeppi. He has been booked into the Manatee County Jail. 

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"Detectives were able to get some good evidence from the scene, seeing this rifle with the bayonet on it, some other things that we collected there. Pictures from the video, we were able to establish who was involved," said Warren. 

Deputies also had help from a witness. A person contacted the Sheriff's Office and told them he drove the suspects, including a third man identified as James Brewer, to the Green Galaxy Smoke and Vape Shop. 

"We are still trying to figure out exactly what their desires were as far as this store, had it been a target," said Warren. 

On Thursday afternoon, Zeppi refused to appear in front of a Manatee County Judge. 

"The defendant currently has 2 pending cases," said the State Attorney's Office. 

Zeppi has been in trouble before. Holmes Beach police arrested him for possession of marijuana when he was 18. A few months later, he spit on officers who caught him in the act of a home burglary. He was set to face a judge next month for a parole violation. 

"The State would request the bond be set at no bond," the State Attorney's Office requested.

Zeppi is facing a second-degree murder charge.