The Journal Gazette
Saturday, August 01, 2020 1:00 am

Suspect in violent '19 robbery arrested

JAMIE DUFFY | The Journal Gazette

The robber entered SMS Property Management on St. Joseph Boulevard wearing a motocross helmet and pointing a handgun at employees.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Clifton J. Mauricio, 44, of the 1500 block of Lumbard Street, ordered everyone on the ground around 5:25 p.m. May 10, 2019. Mauricio nearly killed an employee who fired at Mauricio in a shootout.

Homicide detectives arrested Mauricio on Friday at his Noble County place of work. He was taken to the Noble County Jail and is being held on charges in another county, according to Sgt. Tim Hughes, head of Fort Wayne Police Department's homicide unit, and a Noble County Jail officer.

Mauricio was charged Wednesday in Allen Superior Court with robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, aggravated battery where defendant knowingly inflicts injury creating a substantial risk of death, three counts of criminal confinement, criminal confinement armed with a deadly weapon and using a firearm in the commission of an offense.

The employee who was shot multiple times in the exchange of gunfire pulled out his gun after Mauricio starting zip-tying employees' hands behind their backs, court documents said. The victim also managed to injure Mauricio in his left hand.

Mauricio's injury left a blood trail, which was picked up by lead crime scene investigator Al Garriott, which ultimately led to Mauricio's identification.

The blood sample was found along the bottom edge of the front entrance door window and submitted as a DNA sample, which a laboratory matched to Mauricio, court documents said.

Homicide detective Ben MacDonald reviewed crime scene photos and noticed that blood droplets on the sidewalk on St. Joseph Boulevard were consistent with a left hand injury, court documents said.

Video surveillance showed Mauricio leaving the property on a blue Dasani mountain bike, gripping the handlebar with his right hand and gently resting his left hand.

In the interview room, homicide detective Brian Martin attempted to photograph Mauricio's scars and marks while Mauricio tried to hide his left hand injury. When Martin asked him about it, Mauricio blamed it on “an old boxing injury,” court documents said.

Mauricio also left eyeglasses behind that detectives were able to match to his prescription at Matthew 25 Health Clinic in downtown Fort Wayne.

During the robbery, Mauricio not only shot the armed employee but tried to “gouge out his eyes,” and hit him with his helmet, court documents said. The victim suffered three gunshot wounds to his head, left shoulder and abdomen and was unconscious and intubated at Lutheran Hospital.

Other victims reported that Mauricio corralled four employees, including one who attempted to run out the back door, and ordered them to lie down inside the business.

“Where's the money?” Mauricio was heard to say, along with “Get down. Get down on the ground!”

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