An armed robber wound up on the wrong end of a gun Sunday night in Liberty County when he allegedly forced his way into the home of 82-year-old Bradley Harvell and attempted to take all his money.
Octavius Barnes, 23, accused of home invasion and armed robbery, died from two gunshot wounds.
According to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, Harvell, who owns the Slip ‘N Slide bar at 20279 CR 333 in Bristol, was at his home adjacent to the business around 9 p.m. when he heard a knock at his front door. He yelled, “Who is it?” and no one responded. Harvell then opened the door and saw a black male dressed like a ninja with black clothing and a blue bandana covering his face from the nose down. Harvell attempted to slam the door, but the suspect, later identified as Barnes, pushed it open, striking Harvell on his left forearm with a stun gun. Harvell began backing up until he reached his bed in the living room. Barnes then demanded Harvell give him his money.
“I pulled my billfold out and gave him half of it and he said, ‘No, I want all of it,’” Harvell tells The County Record.
Harvell handed the rest of the cash in his wallet to Barnes who paused a minute and said, “You’ve got more money here than that,” then allegedly pointed a small black gun at him.
Harvell reached down beside his bed and dug around in a cardboard box where he keeps his medicine, appearing as if he was pulling out some more money. Instead, he came back up with a .357 Smith and Wesson.
“I didn’t waste no time,” says Harvell. “I shot him one time in the chest and one time in the head.”
Harvell immediately called 911. Deputy Carol Marotta responded and found Barnes face up on the floor. He was pronounced dead on the scene. Harvell was sitting upright on the floor with a large television on his right leg.
Dep. Marotta recovered a hand held Taser stun gun, a black plastic cap gun, and a .357 Smith and Wesson. All items were turned over to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Crime Lab.
Back at the Slip ‘N Slide Monday, Harvell’s phone was ringing all morning with folks calling to check on him.
“I’ve never seen him before,” Harvell says of Barnes, “but he scared the hell out of me.”
Harvell points out there was no car found outside his house, but he and others at the store speculate there was a driver involved who dropped Barnes off Sunday night, then fled.
Col. Brigham Shuler of the LCSO remarks, “That’s an investigative question that will have to be resolved.”
Barnes reportedly lived in Quincy, but had family in Liberty County where he has had run-ins with law enforcement in the past. Formerly of Sanford, he served three years in state prison on burglary and grand theft charges. He was released from Brevard Correctional Institution in November 2007.
Although law enforcement officials feel confident Harvell acted in self defense, the State Attorney’s Office is reviewing the case.