***UPDATE July 9 10:30 pm***Church In Custody
On Wednesday, July 9 at 10:20 pm, Robert Church turned himself in at the Columbia County Detention Facility. He was booked on aggravated battery, felon in possession of a firearm, and discharging a firearm in public with no bond.
(Updated July 9, 10 am) Victims Status-Deputies Investigate Early Morning Shooting
On Wednesday, July 9, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Victim Advocate reported that the victims, security guard Niaja Bowles, 33 and bystander Alvia Lee, 37 both of Lake City have been released from the hospital and are recovering from their injuries.
Robert Dell Church, 29 is still at large as detectives continue to investigate the shooting and ascertain Church’s whereabouts. Church is considered armed and dangerous.
Anyone with information should contact the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office at 386-719-2005 or Crime Stoppers of Columbia County at 386-754-7099 or www.columbiacrimestoppers.net
(Original Release) Deputies Investigate Early Morning Shooting
On Saturday, July 5 at 2:30 a.m., Columbia County Sheriff’s Office responded to a shooting at Elks Lodge at 1688 NE Washington Street in Lake City.
The initial investigation revealed an argument between two unknown females and a single male, Robert Church, 29 began inside the Elks Lodge at closing. The on sight security guard attempted to separate the parties involved and escort them outside. Once outside, Robert fell to the ground during a struggle. Robert then reportedly went to a vehicle in the parking lot, retrieved a handgun and returned. He shot the security guard once and fled the area.
The security guard was transported to Shands at UF Hospital by Lifeguard ambulance, where his condition is currently unknown. The bullet that passed through the guard, stuck a female bystander and she was taken by her husband to Lake Shore Hospital where she was later transferred to Shands at UF Hospital.
Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Unit arrived and processed the scene as deputies and detectives interviewed witnesses. The investigation continues.
The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office has issued a BOLO for Robert Church and in actively seeking his location. If anyone has information on Robert’s whereabouts or this shooting, contact the Sheriff’s Office at 386-719-2005 or Crime Stoppers of Columbia County Inc. at 386-754-7099