“We will do everything to see justice is done here,” Longboat Key Police Chief Pete Cumming said Aug. 10 at a news conference at town hall.
Darryl Vaughn Hanna Jr., 29, was arrested for the fatal shooting of two men Aug. 4 in the lobby of a Longboat Key resort at 4711 Gulf of Mexico Drive.
The investigation continues into the double homicide at the Zota Beach Resort following the arrest of the Bradenton man, Cumming said.
He also acknowledged the investigation won’t bring back victims Timothy Hurley, 59, of Sarasota, and Kevin Carter, 51, of Bradenton, but hoped it brings closure for their families. Hurley was a night manager and Carter a security guard at the resort.
The resort opened in May at the site of the former Hilton hotel.
The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office arrested Hanna Aug. 9 at an east Bradenton residence on two charges of second-degree murder and a charge of armed robbery.
Bond was denied Aug. 11 and Hanna remains in custody.
Cumming credited the homicide task force, working with the state attorney’s office, with following tips, interviews and gathering evidence.
The chief said license plate recognition cameras at each end of Longboat Key had been “valuable” to the investigation.
“We’re not done with the investigation,” he added.
Questions as to whether Hanna acted alone and what was meant by a throat-slashing motion seen on video are unanswered, according to the police chief.
Portions of the video released by authorities show a person in a mask walking into an area where the victims were found, making the motion across the throat, and another of a person walking out with a cash box.
Hanna had been a part-time employee of Victory Security of Florida, the same company that employed Carter, according to police reports.
Cumming said Hanna targeted the resort and was familiar with the location of the safe and cash.
The chief called Hanna “a violent criminal,” having a robbery motive. He also noted that the incident was “isolated.” The last homicide in the village was in June 2000.
Three cash drawers and $900 were stolen.
Cumming also said Hanna may have been disgruntled.
He last worked at the resort Aug. 2 and told his supervisor at Victory he had taken a job as a cook in a nursing home, according to police reports.
Investigators also learned Hanna had complained to a co-worker and his supervisor about not making enough money and wanting more hours.
Hanna’s supervisor told police Hanna’s response to a fellow employee being killed was: “How many times did they get shot?”
Cumming wouldn’t rule out another person’s involvement or that the slashing motion observed on the video might have been a signal to an accomplice.
The arrest report states 10 phone calls were made from Hanna’s cellphone between 2:01 a.m. and 2:47 a.m. the morning of the shootings.
According to police reports, the killer entered the resort at 2:39 a.m. and the shooting occurred at 2:41 a.m.
However, the shots were apparently not heard and were not reported.
A guest found Carter at 3:20 a.m. and Longboat police responded at 3:26 a.m.
On Hanna’s Facebook account, according to the probable cause report, investigators found a photo of a firearm with notes it was a .380 but “I have a 9 as well.”
In January, Hanna was arrested in Sarasota on a theft of gift cards. He pleaded no contest in May and his adjudication was withheld.
In 2008, he was arrested in Manatee County for resisting arrest.
At the news conference, Cumming declined comment on a suspicious incident at the Zota resort two weeks before the homicides.
According to an Aug. 10 report in the Longboat Observer, Carter, who was on duty, reported a woman in an idling white car in the resort parking lot who told him that she had registered online. A man was leaning on a wall nearby, the report stated.
Carter went into the hotel to check the registration and call police, the Observer reported, and the people outside left.
A reward handled by the Manatee County CrimeStoppers and Gold Star Club — now at $50,000 — is being offered for information on the homicide case, Cumming said.
At press time, Hanna was being held in the Manatee County jail without bond.
A court date is set for 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 8, in the Manatee County Judicial Center, 1051 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.