NW MIAMI-DADE (CBS4) -A $25 thousand reward is being offered by the U.S. Postal Service to anyone who can help lead police to the person who shot and killed a mail carrier on Monday and then took off in his postal truck. Meanwhile, the victim’s ex-wife spoke to CBS4.It is a crime that has horrified both the victim’s loved ones and U.S. Postal service employees.
“It was very shocking,” said Connie Davis, the ex-wife of the victim, 60-year-old Bruce Parton. “He was such a good man and postal carrier. He had so many friends. He never harmed anyone. It’s so sad that you go to work and you can’t even go home in the end.”
Parton was gunned down Monday afternoon just before 3 p.m. in the 400 block of Northwest 165 Street in North Miami-Dade County.
Despite paramedics best efforts to save his life he didn’t make it. Just a few blocks away from the shooting, police found Parton’s delivery truck abandoned. The killer took off running. Somehow he eluded dozens of federal agents and police officers.
“I wish someone who knows something will come forward,” Davis told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench. “Someone out there must know something about this crime. It would mean so much to me if someone would help out.”
“Maybe whoever did this was on drugs,” said Davis. “He didn’t have any enemies. Maybe someone was trying to rob him.”
At a news conference outside the Norland branch post office where Parton worked, the Inspector-in-Charge of the U,S. Postal Service in South Florida, Enrique Gutierrez, said Parton’s death “shatters me to the bone. We will never recover. This is like losing a family member.”
A flag outside the post office will fly at half staff indefinitely in Parton’s honor. Gutierrez would not say if an inventory of Parton’s truck had been done or if he knew if any items had been stolen.
“I can tell you that he was a fine man,” he said. “It was like he was one of the family.”
Gutierrez said it has been at least 20 years since a postal worker was killed while on the job in South Florida.
After the news conference, postal service police and inspectors scoured the area where Parton was killed, passing out flyers offering the $25,000 reward and looking for evidence. They also passed out flyers outside the Norland post office where Parton worked.
“He wasn’t doing nothing but filling but filling mailboxes,” said witness Justin Wilcox. “It wasn’t like he’s bothering somebody. He’s just doing his everyday job. And now he’s gone.”
Miami-Dade Police Lt. Cordero-Stuz said they suspect was wearing a red jacket with a black t-shirt underneath. The suspect also has long dreads in his hair.
“He is large, heavy set and somewhere between 6 feet and 6 feet 4 inches tall,” said Gutierrez.
Police do not have a motive for the deadly shooting.
“This is a tragedy for all of us,” Gutierrez said.
Residents who lived on Parton’s route said he was well-liked.
“He was a sweet man… spoke to you everyday,” said resident Kim Harris. “He was very polite. I don’t see why they would have done that to him. He was a sweetheart.”
Wilcox hopes they find him, “The holidays coming and family. I don’t wish anything on anybody. But I hope they catch him. I hope they catch him.”
Anyone with information is urged to call the Postal Inspection Service Hotline at (888) 876-5322 or Miami-Dade Crimestoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.