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Suspected 'Gator's gunmen' corralled after armed stickup

After the bartender announced “last call” for libations at Gator's Bar & Grill, located at 6605 S.E. Powell Boulevard, at about 1:40 am on October 13th, two armed men barged in – and made it clear they weren’t looking for a nightcap.

A patron of the establishment slipped out and called 9-1-1, bringing Portland Police rushing to the scene.

“The first arriving officers spotted two African American males exiting the bar and running to a car,” PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson reported. “The car immediately sped away out of the area. Officers spoke to witnesses to the robbery and learned that both men were armed during the robbery.”

With police close behind, the robbery suspects headed north, into the neighborhood, on S.E. 60th Avenue. They turned west and – about three minutes after the pursuit began – smashed into a parked car at S.E. 52nd Avenue and Taylor Street.

by: MCDC BOOKING PHOTO - Antwaun Leshawn Spencer is one of two men being held in connection with the armed robbery. As we learned, his credentials are surprising. “The two suspects ran from the car,” Simpson said. “One suspect, 29-year-old Antwaun Leshawn Spencer, was captured by police almost immediately, and taken into custody. The second suspect disappeared into the neighborhood.”

A police dog found the second suspect’s scent, and led officers to a house a block away, in the 1200 block of S.E. 51st Avenue, where he had barricaded himself in an attached mud room next to a residence.

The suspect was non-communicative, so – concerned that he was still armed after the robbery – the Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) and Crisis Negotiation Team were activated, and responded to the scene.

“Officers maintained a tight perimeter around the location, and the suspect started yelling that he’d been shot in the leg,” said Simpson. “The suspect complied with officer's commands, and shortly thereafter surrendered to police.”

Police found 23-year-old Tyrell Milton Burton, who was immediately taken to a Portland hospital for a gunshot wound to the leg, which investigators later said was self-inflicted. No officers, community members, or patrons of Gator's Bar & Grill, were injured during this criminal episode.

The first suspect, Antwaun Leshawn Spencer, was charged with three counts of Robbery in the First Degree, Attempt to Elude in a Vehicle, Reckless Driving, Failure to Perform the Duties of a Driver, and Driving While Suspended. He is currently in residence at Multnomah County Inverness Jail, with combined bond set at $810,000.

The second suspect, Tyrell Milton Burton, faces three counts of Robbery in the First Degree, and one count each of Burglary in the First Degree, Burglary in the Second Degree, and Felon in Possession of a Firearm. He remains in custody at Multnomah County Inverness Jail, with combined bail set at $800,000.

In the days following his arrest and incarceration, it’s come out that the first suspect, Spencer, was considered to be a “reformed gang-banger”, reportedly going from “rap to gospel” in 2008.

Online research indicates that Antwaun Spencer was a contact person for Derrick Traylor Ministries Inc. and the Rehoboth World Healing Center, formerly located in the Mt. Scott-Arleta Neighborhood at 4803 S.E. 64th Avenue, and now worshiping in Gateway at 10014 N.E. Glisan Street.

Spencer’s LinkedIn profile shows him to be the “Director of Booking/Entertainment” and co-founder of “Amazin Entertainment LLC”; and also the owner of “Quality Janitorial Services Of Northwest Inc.”

His profile also includes a note that Spencer was the Founder/Executive Director of F.A.N.E.X Inc. “We provide community re-intergration [sic] skills to youth offenders at risk youth. Focusing on educational assistance, employee assistance, skills and aquisitions [sic] and case management/coordination to decrease the recividism [sic] rate.”

The church has yet to return phone calls; and telephone numbers for the other enterprises have been disconnected, or do not answer.

Finally, Spencer is said to be the author of a book entitled “The new Adam and Eve; Abstaining from the forbidden fruit of premarital sex”.

Excerpted from the publisher’s website, Amazon.com, is this quote from Spencer’s e-book:

“Romans 6:23 says, ‘For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ One of the main consequences as a result of sinning is something has to die.”

Spencer may now be hoping for a more merciful approach from the judge he soon will have to face.