PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — 20-year-old Ruez Hicks Jr.’s trial for double murder began on Wednesday.

Hicks is charged with killing Robert Gilmore and Robert Fowler on Delmar Drive, off of Front Beach Road, on Jan. 26, 2021.

“One of those bullets ripped through the chest of Robert Gilmore, piercing his heart and causing his death within a matter of seconds to minutes,” State Attorney Larry Basford said. 

Hicks is facing life in prison. Alongside two counts of murder, Hicks is facing one count of armed burglary and robbery with a firearm.

Neighbors found Gilmore soon after the shooting.

“I went up and I kicked the bottom of his shoes and said something like ‘hello’, or something like that,” neighbor Frank Jackowiak said. “And then there was no response, I reached down to his wrist to check for a pulse and he was cold to the touch. There was obviously no pulse.”

After allegedly shooting Gilmore and Fowler, Hicks admitted to deputies that he stole Gilmore’s debit card and bought chips with it at a Dollar General.

Gilmore’s phone alerted deputies of the purchase. Deputies then accessed the Dollar General’s video and took a picture of Hicks that was dispersed amongst deputies. Soon after, they tracked down Hicks.

“I received a phone call from another deputy.” Bay County Sheriff’s Office Captain Jason Daffin said. “After that conversation, it was determined that possibly had contact with that individual at a trailer park on the west side of the beach.”