Accused double homicide suspect reached out to friend after Longboat Key killings

Darryl Hanna Jr.

BRADENTON, Fla. (WFLA) – A Bradenton man is recounting a chilling conversation he had with Darryl Hanna just hours after the Longboat Key killings.

Around 2:30 a.m. on August 4, police say 29-year-old Darryl Hanna walked inside the Zota Beach Resort. He was a former security guard there, employed by Victory Security.

Police say he was very familiar with the layout.

While inside, police say he shot and killed night manager Timothy Hurley and fellow security guard Kevin Carter. He then stole $900 and took off.

About 17 hours after the crimes, Hanna reached out to his friend Edward Kieffer. In a Facebook message while on the run, Hanna referenced the murder, pointing out that he worked at the Zota Beach Resort.

Hanna told Kieffer he got a new job. He expressed it was out of concern for the shootings saying “I don’t think I will be working for resorts for a long time.”

“I was actually talking to him after he committed the crimes,” recalled Kieffer.

When Kieffer asked Hanna if he knew the security guard that was shot, Hanna responded “yes, he trained me.”

“I didn’t even know it. I’m telling him ‘you’re lucky you weren’t there last night’ and [he] says ‘You’re right,’” said Kieffer.

Kieffer was shocked to find that Hanna was arrested for the crime five days later.

“I’m actually still stunned. I’m still stunned by that, I’m in total shock,” said Kieffer.

Kieffer is a security guard himself and he and Hanna became friends around two years ago.

“He was pretty cool, you know, laid back, always trying to work, working, trying to find jobs, always after work,” recalled Kieffer.

He said Hanna had been complaining recently about his lack of pay and work hours at the Zota Beach Resort, so Kieffer was trying to help him find a new job.

“I could never picture him doing something like this,” said Kieffer.

Darryl Hanna has a history of drug arrests, including charges for marijuana and cocaine possession.

In 2016, he was even charged for petite theft while working as a security guard in Sarasota. He was ordered to do community service and despite this, he still had a valid security license with the state.

“We were not aware of any convictions in this case, and his state D license was valid.  This can be verified through the state licensing website. We continue to cooperate with the ongoing investigation and cannot release any further information at this time,” said Victory Security in a statement.

Hanna had to go through training and a vetting process by the state to become licensed. A spokesman for the Florida Department of Agriculture said no complaints have been filed against Darryl Hanna.

“Darryl Hanna was not an employee of the Zota resort. Since the facts and circumstances of Darryl Hanna’s employment with Victory impacts the ongoing criminal investigation [which Zota will not jeopardize] we cannot comment further,” Zota Beach Resort said in a statement.

The Longboat Key police department is still investigating the case and we will keep you posted on any developments.

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