Polk deputies catch man suspected in online transaction killing

The Polk County Sheriff's Office released this series of mug shots of Victor Lemond Manns, Jr.

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) —  The Polk County Sheriff’s Office says it has caught the man suspected in a deadly shooting that happened during an online sales transaction over the weekend.

Deputies arrested 25 year-old Victor Lemond Manns Jr. for the shooting death of Jeffery Morrow Jr. Morrow was shot and killed Sunday night when he and his friend met up with Manns to sell an iPhone, deputies said.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said Mann snatched the phone and began to run. Morrow pulled out a shotgun, but Judd said Mann shot at Morrow, hitting him in the face and killing him. “We knew we had to operate quickly because we didn’t know when he would strike again,” Sheriff Judd said.

Shooting victim Jeff Morrow Jr., Facebook photo
Shooting victim Jeff Morrow Jr., Facebook photo

The sheriff said Mann used the app LetGo to buy items and rob victims on multiple occasions.

RELATED: Polk sheriff to online killer: ‘Hey Mr. Murderer… we’re going to find you’

LetGo worked with the sheriff’s office to find Mann. “I highly recommend that if you’re going to use an app to sell stuff like this, which obviously is a very dangerous thing to do, then use the LetGo app because they will quickly get us the information which will help us find the person that killed you,” Judd said.

Mann is accused in two other robberies. Detectives say he communicated with victims on LetGo and would meet up with them and steal items. Mann is accused of snatching an iPad from Cory Peace on Aug. 26. Mann was selling in the middle of the day.

“It’s kind of surreal. I’m thankful that no one was hurt. I’ve lived in Lakeland my whole life. I never thought that. I know people have the capacity to do bad things. I wasn’t prepared for that,” Peace said.

“I’ll never put myself in that position again. The anonymity that these apps create, it technically supposed to safe guard you from things but when something bad does happen, it’s hard to track them down. They use false names,” he added.

On Sept. 1 Mann is accused of pulling a gun and taking another cell phone. The victim in the Sept. 1 case was pistol whipped. Both of the first cases happened in Lakeland.

Judd said they tracked Mann down in Mulberry at his grandmother’s home and he was arrested without incident. Judd said Mann confessed to the crime saying, “I’m sorry for the soul that was lost Sunday night.” Judd said the suspect also said, “I want to be a man and fess up.”

“I think he’s really remorseful that he killed the guy but that’s too late. He should’ve thought about the possible consequences and outcomes when he showed up to steal a cell phone with a gun in his pants,” the sheriff added.

Judd said his homicide detectives have a 100 percent solve rate. “If you want to murder somebody, don’t do it in Polk,” the sheriff said.

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