The Chipley Police Department received a call of shots fired in the area of the Colonial Restaurant on July 10 at approximately 4 p.m.
Officers discovered the owner of the restaurant, Jody Rhoda, lying on the ground behind the restaurant. Rhoda had suffered several gunshot wounds. The victim was transported to a Panama City hospital where she underwent several hours of surgery. The victim is expected to make a full recovery.
Investigators with the Chipley Police Department have charged Emmanuel Lockhart, 20 years of age, of Cottondale, with attempted murder, robbery with a firearm, and burglary.
“We believe the owner of the restaurant was the only one left in the business as she was closing for the day following Sunday lunch,” said Lt. Scott Thompson. “The suspect went inside the restaurant and hid until the victim exited the rear door where he followed her out of the door and surprised the victim outside and immediately started shooting the victim.”
According to the suspect’s statement, his motive was to rob the business owner. Lockhart was a former employee of the Colonial Restaurant.
Lockhart is being held on a $450,000 bond.