The U.S. Marshals Service on Tuesday arrested double-murder suspect Devin Chandler in Tampa, according to Palmetto police.
Chandler, 25, of Palmetto, was wanted on two counts of murder and one count of armed robbery, in connection with the slayings of two brothers in their family's Palmetto convenience store.
"He should be considered armed and dangerous," stated Palmetto Police Chief Scott Tyler in an earlier news release announcing that Chandler was the suspect in the case.
Investigators say Khasem Yousef, 23, and Faares Yousef, 17, a Manatee High School senior, were killed between 2:30 and 2:45 p.m. Monday, when Chandler walked into Snappy's Mart, 559 17th Street W., Palmetto, and made his way around the store, picked up a few items, and then walked up to the counter.
Instead of paying, Chandler shot them both brothers in the head, police said.
Police were alerted to the scene shortly afterward when a customer walked in and found the brothers' bodies.
Detectives had exhausted all addresses associated with Chandler when they made the decision early Tuesday to release his name. Investigators had earlier decided to hold off on releasing images or footage from video surveillance depicting the suspect.
"The reason we were going to release that is to identify him," Tyler said.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations Florida in Tampa offered an additional $10,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of the suspect in the shootings, according to Chief Executive Director Hassan Shibly. Late Sunday, the family of the victims also offerred a $10,000 reward, in addition to a reward of up to $1,000 from Crime Stoppers.
"We are horrified by this barbaric and senseless killing of two wonderful members of our community," Shibly said. "We wanted to contribute any way we can to assure the dangerous suspect is brought to justice and can never take the life of an innocent person again."
The Yousef family have been members of the CAIR for years, he said.
"The family was well known for giving back to the community for those less fortunate," Shibly said.
In addition to their well-known charitable service to CAIR, the family also supported one of the mosques Shibly regularly attends, he said.
"The mosque is very well-shaken at the loss of these two bright, young individuals," Shibly said "They worked jobs at to provide support to their family business."
The brothers had been covering the shift at Snappy's in Palmetto because of the Labor Day holiday, but regularly worked at another convenience store their father owns.
"It's so sad they lost their job doing that, nobody should have to fear losing their lives while providing services to the community," Shibly said.
The brothers will be honored Tuesday afternoon with traditional funeral prayers in Tampa, immediately followed by their burial.
Shortly after the fatal shooting of the Yousef brothers, the suspect was captured on by security cameras at a 7-Eleven north of Palmetto, 2601 Old US 41, making a purchase, according to Tyler. He was wearing the same clothes and driving the same car as at Snappy's, Tyler said.
Police will not yet release what the shooter took from Snappy's when he killed the brothers, because they are hoping to catch the suspect with it in his possession.
"Right now the biggest thing is to get him into custody without any further violence and hopefully get him to talk to us," Tyler said.
Chandler was released from a Florida prison in September 2011 after serving just less than two years on a three-year sentence for a conviction of attempted armed robbery with a weapon, according to Department of Correction records. In that case, he is currently serving probation for this conviction.
Records from DOC list his last known address as about three blocks from Monday's shooting.
"That is where he was living," Tyler said.
For the 2011 conviction, Chandler pleaded no contest and was convicted for the attempted armed robbery of the store clerk of the A1A Food Mart, 1417 17th Ave. W., Bradenton, according to court records. Chandler walked in with a handgun, jumped over the counter and demanded money from the store clerk but was interrupted by the clerk's co-worker and he attempted to runaway. The clerk held Chandler by his shirt, and the two were fighting when police arrived.