Arrests made in robbery, shooting of elderly man

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Three arrests have been made in the shooting and robbery of an elderly man, Bartow police announced.

The incident occurred just before 5:30 a.m. Monday in the 1900 block of South Floral Avenue across from the Polk County School Board main officers, police said. The 69-year-old victim was found with a gunshot wound to the leg when officers arrested. 

Bartow Police Chief Joe Hall said video recovered from the scene of the armed robbery resulted in the arrest of two suspects and then led investigators to other potential crimes.

When detectives began canvassing the Mosaic Park for video surveillance which may have captured events relative to this investigation, they recovered video from a local convenience store which captured a vehicle they say is similar to the one seen at the scene of the armed robbery. 

On the video, detectives say two male subjects - later identified as Stanley Smith, Jr. and Felipe Fernandez - were considered persons of interest.

Detectives interviewed an incarcerated juvenile who allegedly revealed Fernandez and Smith were involved in the armed robbery of the two elderly victims, as well as several burglaries, robberies, and auto thefts over the last week.

Bartow police began working with the Polk County Sheriff's Office, Lake Wales, and Winter Haven police departments.

On Wednesday, detectives arrested Fernandez who they say admitted to being involved in the armed robbery and incidents in Winter Haven. Fernandez allegedly told detectives Stanley Smith and two others were involved.

Detectives arrested Stanley Smith later that day at his residence in Lake Wales. Investigators say Smith also admitted to being involved in the armed robbery and confirmed the identity of the additional two suspects.

Fernandez and Smith have been arrested on charges of armed robbery, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, and aggravated battery of an elderly person.

Fernandez was also charged with violation of probation on an unrelated burglary charge. Smith was out on bond for on a charge of grand theft auto by Lake Wales police.

Thursday evening, detectives with the Bartow Police Department charged the third suspect connected with case. Yazman Kelton Shipman, 17, was the gunman, police say, who shot the victim during the incident. Shipman was held in a youth detention center and faces charges of attempted felony murder, aggravated battery of an elderly person, possession of a firearm by a juvenile delinquent and armed robbery with a firearm.