ROCKLEDGE, Fla. - Rockledge police are still trying to figure out what may have motivated a Cocoa man to open fire at an automotive business, killing one employee and leaving another worker paralyzed from the neck down, police said.
Investigators said Robert Bailey, 28, of Cocoa, shot one of the victim's at least nine times at Schlenker Automotive on Barton Boulevard on Friday before he was shot by a manager.
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Those who know Bailey told Channel 9’s Melonie Holt that an accused killer isn’t the man they know.
“Shock, utter shock, total disbelief. We can't believe that was him at all. That's so opposite of what you might think,” Bailey’s former co-worker, Diana Lynn, said.
Lynn told Eyewitness News that Bailey worked part-time at a Cocoa village pub until a few weeks ago when he was let go after an altercation with a customer, which she said was out of character. The customer had no connection to the automotive place, Lynn said.
“The people who knew him best thought there might have been some type of some sort of emotional break. His personality seemed to change a few weeks ago,” Lynn said.
Lynn said Bailey didn't react with anger to his firing. Bailey, who has no Florida criminal history we could find, had a second job in janitorial services at Lewis Carroll Elementary School on Merritt Island. He will be recommended for termination next month.
So far, Rockledge police haven't found any connection between the automotive shop and the suspect.
Roger Smith, 50, died in the shooting. The other victim’s name has not been released.
Bailey remains in the hospital in critical, but-stable condition.
He faces charges of premeditated murder and attempted murder.
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