Easley Pawn Shop Owner Killed in Robbery


Kramer Krazy
June 20, 2006, 04:11 PM
I was away during the weekend and, after a search, didn't see this posted anywhere, so.......


A gunman entered Action Pawn in the heart of downtown Easley on Thursday afternoon, killed the owner and shot at his wife, police said.

Owner John Bruin, 65, of 204 Shefwood Drive was fatally wounded around 1:40 p.m. Two shots were fired at his wife, Betty Bruin, who escaped unharmed, locked herself in the shop's walk-in vault and called authorities.

"He was a wonderful man, a great husband, a loving father," said Renee Clark, Bruin's niece. "He was known by everyone as being the sweet old man."

Easley police Maj. Tim Tollison said a white male entered the store, fired shots and began putting merchandise into a black bag.

Easley police released images from the store's surveillance video and said a man in the images is a suspect in the case. Officers described him as between 24 and 28 years old, with a large tattoo of a cross on his left arm. Tollison said he was wearing a white polo-style shirt and dark pants, possibly jeans.

Police believe the same man stopped at another shop in the area, according to Tollison, before heading to Action Pawn.

"This guy is just calm, cool and collected," Tollison said. "He talked to him (John), laughed with him, and then he just pulled out a gun and shot him."

Tollison said he is armed and dangerous and may be traveling in a white four-door sedan.

Once authorities arrived on the scene, Bruin was taken to Greenville Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to Kandy Kelley, Pickens County chief deputy coroner.

An autopsy will be performed today, Kelley said. The Coroner's Office said it is releasing no other information until it gets the final autopsy results, which will take about four to six weeks.

Patti Brock, a frequent customer, said, "I just can't believe it. They're good people. This was our favorite pawnshop."

Kristi Clark, who lives near the pawnshop, said, "I'm shocked, upset, saddened. ... They were very nice people. When I first moved here and didn't have a phone, they would let me use theirs."

Donna Earle isn't used to things like this happening in her town.

"That's scary. ... That's close to my house," Earle said. "I just think that's terrible, and I'm pretty sure everybody else will, because that's just too close to home."

The Police Department is investigating the case along with the Pickens County Sheriff's Office.

This pawn shop is about 3-4 miles form my house and I used to try to go in there at least once a month. Mr Bruin was a very nice man and I enjoyed talking with him. I'd bought a gun or two from him and even had him do a transfer for me. Last I heard this morning, they caught the scumbag in Canada and the Canadians may not extradite him because we believe in the death penalty. :fire:

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Kramer Krazy
June 20, 2006, 04:12 PM
I found the latest....


The Easley Police Department is working with authorities in Montreal to return to South Carolina a former Wren High School student charged in the slaying of a pawnshop owner.

The Montreal Police Department's SWAT team arrested Roger Eugene Shephard, 21, on Saturday without incident, according to officer Miguel Alston.

He said several weapons, a bulletproof vest and a gas mask were found in the white Chevrolet Cobalt that Shephard was driving.

Shephard was charged in the slaying of John Bruin, 65, who was killed Thursday afternoon during an armed robbery at Action Pawn in downtown Easley. Two shots fired at Bruin's wife, Betty, missed.

"This man right now is detained in Montreal with the immigration law. We are waiting for the extradition to the United States," Alston said.

Easley police and the 13th Circuit Solicitor's Office are researching the best way to get Shephard back either through deportation or extradition.

"Since this is another country, we have to go through different channels," said Easley police Maj. Tim Tollison.

"Right now, the Solicitor's Office is going through the Department of Justice to ... bring Mr. Shephard back to South Carolina. The process is ongoing as we speak. There's no indication on how long it's going to take."

When Shephard returns to South Carolina, he will be served with warrants and go before a judge for a bond hearing, Tollison said.

Police have charged Shephard with murder, armed robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime and assault with intent to kill, according to warrants. Shephard's address was listed on warrants as 140 Turkey Trot Road, Williamston.

"We're not educated in this process because we've never had to do it before," Easley Police Chief Danny Traber said. "We're just feeling our way through it and speaking with the contacts that we know to get in touch with. I'm sure that we'll get him back ... the sooner the better."

June 21, 2006, 07:56 AM
Mr. Bruin was a very nice gentleman and I know that I will miss going in there and chatting with him.:(

Capital Punishment
June 21, 2006, 09:41 AM
Lord willing, he will fry for this. :barf:

June 21, 2006, 10:33 AM
It sounds like he is going to be heading to jail for quite some time. They are probably going to have to take the death penalty off the table to get him back in the country.:fire:

June 21, 2006, 11:06 AM
I saw the video they had of the guy on the local news. He stood right in front of the surveillance camera long enough to get an id. And, went ahead with this murder anyway.

Poor Mr. Bruin.

June 21, 2006, 01:35 PM
That description sounds like Sportcat out of Clemson :scrutiny:

Kramer Krazy
June 22, 2006, 11:46 AM
That description sounds like Sportcat out of Clemson
I'd never met him, had you? I'd hate to think that the shooter was a member here.

June 22, 2006, 12:50 PM
So how did he get into Canada with an "arsenal" in his car? I though Americans weren't allowed to take firearms into Canada.

Another example of laws only applying to honest people.

June 22, 2006, 02:46 PM
I'd never met him, had you? I'd hate to think that the shooter was a member here.

My comment was meant to be sarcasm.

June 22, 2006, 04:35 PM
I will be moving to Greenwood in a few weeks, how far is it from where this happened. This is a tragedy, honest old man and his wife trying to make a living and this F***ing A**hole pulls this stunt. I say use the guy for more realistic training for the military or law enforcement. Let him barricade himself in a house, give him a weapon with simunitions but dont let him know that. Exceptr the swat team or military unit get to use the real stuff.

How you like them apples?

June 23, 2006, 10:21 AM
It's interesting to note that the perp had a bullet proof vest in his car. I wonder if he was wearing it when he shot the guy?

I work in a Pawn & Gun shop on Saturdays and we all openly carry. Someone would have to be absolutely insane to try and rob us. There are cameras and signs notifying shoppers of the cameras all over the store. And the entire store is setup like a funnel with only one way for customers to come and go.

We all understand the danger and there have been some close calls (and a suicide) in the years past. But with access to the amount of firepower we have, it would be some kind of spectacle for this to have occured in my shop.

I wonder if the owner was armed. Most pawn shop owners are.

That bullet proof vest makes me glad I train with failure-to-stop drills.

Kramer Krazy
June 23, 2006, 11:32 AM
My comment was meant to be sarcasm.
<wiping sweat from his brow>.....sorry I didn't catch that. I'm glad you weren't serious. :D

how far away from Greenwood?
About an hour.....but you are closer to Anderson, which has had a recent shooting in an Applebee's parking lot and the media has been playing the "increased gang activity" card on a lot of the crime in Anderson......Which also has Grady's Great Outdoors across the street from Applebee's....I've bought a few guns from Grady's the last year.

I wonder if the owner was armed. Most pawn shop owners are.
I don't recall ever seeing him with anything on him. He may have had something, but fairly well concealed.

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