John Lauseng always carried a gun to work at his gold store in suburban West Palm Beach. But the Boynton Beach man didn't get a chance to pull it out and defend himself before he was shot dead Monday morning outside the store.
Two masked men surprised Lauseng around 8:30 a.m. as he opened West Palm Coin & Jewelry Exchange at 1784 N. Congress Ave., according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.
The men, who were dressed in black and armed with semi-automatic guns, followed Lauseng into the store, said PBSO spokeswoman Teri Barbera. It is unclear what happened inside the store, Barbera said, but the men shot Lauseng, 44, as he managed to get outside and tried to run away from the apparent robbery. He staggered across the street, where he collapsed in the Circle K parking lot with one bullet in his torso and another in his arm, Barbera said. Lauseng later died at St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach.
Deputies are searching for the two shooters, who were seen driving north in a dark green van with tinted windows.One is described as being around 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs about 220 pounds. The other is about 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs about 130 pounds.
A third person was likely driving the getaway van, Barbera said.
Lauseng leaves behind a wife, Tina, two sons, 23 and 20, and a 5-year-old daughter.
"He had a very dangerous job, but I never thought this would happen," said Tina Lauseng, his wife of 24 years.
She said her husband carried a gun to work every day but had never been robbed.
John Lauseng owned several jewelry businesses and moved with his wife to South Florida from Michigan nine years ago. He was supposed to catch a flight Monday to meet her back in their home state to visit family. Instead, she will fly back to Florida to bury him.
Tina Lauseng said her husband was a generous man, the kind of guy who gave money to panhandlers and hired homeless workers.
"He believed in people when no one else would," she said.
The family is still in shock, she said, and their children are just starting to deal with losing their father. She plans to take over the store, as her husband would have wanted, she said.
Authorities ask anyone with information about the shooting to call Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County at 800-458-8477.
Monday, July 26, 2010
From the Palm Beach Sun-Sentinel...a report of a murder of a friend. If you have any possible information please contact the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office.