HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — The family of Bealsville barber Robert Berry, 41, is coming forward, pleading for someone to give authorities the information they need to solve his murder and bring the killer to justice.
- Bealsville man Robert Berry, 41, killed during July home invasion
- Berry's family wants the killer to be brought to justice
- Berry family has created foundation “Redd-I For Change, Inc."
“My brother took up that role of being the man of the family, after we lost my dad [to cancer]. So to lose him in such a horrible manner, without any warning, no chance to say goodbye, to gun him down in his own home in front of his children, in front of his wife — the pain I deal with every day is unimaginable,” said Robert Berry’s older sister Lashawn Robinson.
Berry was shot and killed during a home invasion shooting. A group of three men came up to his home around midnight July 1 and shot the house up, according to Hillsborough County investigators.
The home is in the rural historic community of Bealsville, near Plant City. It’s a community mainly comprised of descendants of freed slaves through the 1866 Southern Homestead Act. Berry’s great-great grandfather Isaac was one of the founders.
Berry’s younger sister Henrissa said her brother’s death has taken a toll on his children. He had two sons and a stepdaughter.
“The fact that they’ll never have their father be able to take them to school again, be able to go to their little league games, be able to put them to bed at night is something that really weighs heavily on us,” said Henrissa Berry.
An educator, she learned his oldest son had to do an assignment when he returned to school about if summer were a TV show, what would it be? He wrote “The Lion King,” because his dad was killed and it changed his life forever like Simba.
The family believes Berry may have been targeted, but they don’t know why.
“It feels like just a stab wound, like somebody just stabbed us in the heart, and our heart is bleeding,” said Robert Berry’s cousin Erika Stancil.
Berry loved race cars and his pit bulls. His family repeatedly described him as a family man. He and his wife had just returned from Jamaica, celebrating their one-year wedding anniversary. He was known as “Redd Mane” in the community.
“He had a promising career as a barber. He had just completed barber school about a year ago,” said his mother Jacqueline Durr.
A spokesperson for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said there are no updates in the investigation.
The family believes someone out there knows something and wants them to come forward with information.
“Our prayer is that whoever perpetrated this crime will not be able to sleep at night, will not be able to go about their normal daily activities until they take responsibility for what they’ve done,” said Henrissa Berry.
Hillsborough County investigators declined to do an interview for this story. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said his detectives are keeping a close eye on this Bealsville case.
The agency is investigating a similar deadly home invasion shooting that happened days before the Bealsville shooting in Dundee. Shabreon “Shay” Collins was killed.
“We are helping the Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office. They’re helping us. We’re sharing information. We can’t tie the two of them together yet, but someone can provide us information that will solve one or both of these murders and possibly tie them together as well,” Judd said.
There’s a $10,000 reward in the Dundee case for anyone who provides information to Heartland Crime Stoppers that leads to an arrest.
In the meantime, the Berry family has created a foundation called, “Redd-I For Change, Inc.," to help other families grieving over their loved ones due to gun violence.
A kick off-reception will be held Saturday, November 16 from 9 a.m. to noon at Springhead Park.