Attacker in clown mask shot dead by Florida pizza employee

Posted at 4:38 AM, May 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-30 17:32:57-04

(WESH/NBC/AP) - A man wearing a clown mask was shot and killed after police said he attacked an employee as he was exiting a Central Florida pizza restaurant Saturday night.

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The Holly Hill Police Department in Volusia County said a Little Caesars employee was leaving the restaurant after closing just before midnight when he was attacked by the masked man, later identified as 53-year-old Jesse L. Coggins of Greenville, North Carolina.

Police confirmed the victim and pizza employee, Heriberto Feliciano, has the proper permit to carry a gun.

On surveillance video you can see the suspect, wearing a clown mask, creep around the side of the restaurant carrying what police describe as a wooden post.

Another camera shows Feliciano inside the store and closing up. Feliciano is spotted looking through the glass door as he puts in the security code. Then, just as he walks out the door and is attacked.

Police said Coggins beat the victim with the post and tried to stab him with scissors, but the man in the mask didn’t know Feliciano was armed.

On the video, you can hear what sounds like several gunshots.

Richard Sekula, who lives nearby, witnessed much of the confrontation.

"I'm glad the employee was able to protect himself. He doesn't deserve what happened. He's just trying to work a job. It's horrible and it's horrible somebody, died but I guess you get what you deserve," said Sekula.

Feliciano called 911 after the attack and shooting. Police found the suspect unresponsive and took him to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.  Evidence, including the scissors were recovered at the scene.

On Monday, white paper covered at least one bullet hole in a restaurant door.

Holly Hill Police Chief Steve Aldrich said Tuesday that Coggins had no local police record, and it was unknown how long he had been in the area.

Aldrich says Feliciano acted in self-defense and is not expected to be charged.

Courtesy the Associated Press and WESH via NBC News Channel

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