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One theater-shooting suspect loose, two in court

Posted October 27, 2008
Updated November 13, 2008

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— A Wake Forest man might have robbed a family at gunpoint and stolen their minivan while on the run from charges in the fatally shooting of a Raleigh movie-theater manager Friday night, Wake Forest police said Monday.

Meanwhile, two men – Ryan Becker, 19, and Jason Zilinski, 18 – made their first court appearance Monday to face murder charges in the case.

Anthony Joseph Bimbo, 40, of 5405 Orchard Oriole Trail, has been on the run since a masked gunman shot Mark Douglas Buhaug, 48, during a robbery attempt at Marquee Cinema, 10600 Common Oaks Drive, shortly after 10 p.m.

A 911 caller told police that the gunman, who was white and middle aged, then hopped on a bike but ditched it behind the theater. He got in a new, four-door Honda Accura with its lights off. Two other people were in the car, the caller said.

The caller said that the gunman left behind the money at the theater.

Investigators believe that Bimbo broke into a home on Poteat Drive in Wake Forest – about 1.3 miles from his home – around 11 a.m. Saturday. According to the police report, Bimbo allegedly used a handgun to force himself into the front door of the residence and get a woman to give him the keys to her vehicle.

Bimbo drove away in the woman's silver 2007 Toyota Sienna minivan, with N.C. license plate P1NK DC.

Raleigh police have charged Bimbo with murder in Buhaug's death, and Wake Forest police have charged him with felony breaking and entering and robbery with a dangerous weapon.

Bimbo should be considered armed and dangerous. Police urged anyone with information on his whereabouts to call officers at 919-996-3555 or Crime Stoppers at 919-226-CRIME.

Last summer, Raleigh police investigated an armed robbery and attempted armed robbery that occurred days apart at the theater, police spokesman Jim Sughrue said. The attempted robbery has not been solved.

Teens appear in court

Zilinksi and Becker were denied bond in their first court appearance Monday afternoon. A judge appointed public defenders for both men and scheduled a probable-cause hearing for each for Nov. 17.

Both teens looked to their parents as they left court, and Becker mouthed, "I love you."

Theater employees said Zilinski worked at the theater and lived with Bimbo, whom neighbors said was his stepfather. Saying the investigation was ongoing, Raleigh police would not comment further about the case.

Zilinski's mother and Becker's parents would not comment.

Steven Kishpaugh, a former neighbor of Bimbo and Zilinski, said the whole scenario seems out of character for Bimbo and that Zilinski is a good kid.

"My wife and I saw it on the news Saturday night. It was shocking," Kishpaugh said.

Troubles with the law

Bimbo had recently gotten in trouble with local law enforcement agencies, and his personal life had taken a turn for the worse.

Bimbo was arrested last month on charges of breaking and entering and obtaining property by false pretense for allegedly stealing in August more than $23,000 worth of items – including laptops, digital cameras, jewelry and two firearms – from a home on Chimney Swift Drive. He was due in court next month to face those charges.

According to court records, Bimbo married Zilinski's mother in 2003, and they separated in January 2008. A court order told Bimbo to leave their house by Nov. 1.

Bimbo lost his job as a bulk delivery driver for McCracken Propane in Rolesville in July. Managers would not say why he was let go.

Bimbo worked for Northwest Airlines until 2006, Raleigh-Durham International Airport officials said. They could not say why he left that job.

Kishpaugh said he hopes that his former neighbor will give himself up.

"You need to come clean, need to come in," Kishpaugh said. "You've hurt a lot of people. You need to get this right."

Memorial for victim

A memorial for Buhaug will be held at Marquee Cinemas at 9 p.m. Thursday. The service will be open to the public.

Buhaug, a 25-year veteran of the theater, had managed the Marquee since August 2005, Marquee Cinemas President Curtis E. McCall said in a statement Monday.

"This senseless and brutal crime is a tragedy for us all. Mark Buhaug was a great friend and treasured employee who will be dearly missed," he said. "We anxiously await the assailant's capture so that justice may be served."

Buhaug, originally from Dilworth, Minn., had lived in Raleigh for about 10 years, his sister, Caroline Lukken, of Ulen, Minn., said. He was one of seven children.


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  • tbone0918 Oct 28, 2008

    So Raleigh annexed the Wakefield (Wake Forest) area only to get the money but they can't staff more police officers? What a shame.

    We were being annex at the same time in NE Raleigh and we thought the same thing. I mean if you can't cover the area you've got why take on more.

    We talked to the wf police, the sheriff dept., the rpd. This whole thing is horrible. So unnecessary the loss. I don't know what to tell my daughter. She cannot be consoled right now.

  • Hevans1012 Oct 28, 2008

    So Raleigh annexed the Wakefield (Wake Forest) area only to get the money but they can't staff more police officers? What a shame.

  • DVS Oct 27, 2008

    I knew Mark and worked with him for 3 years. He will be greatly missed. He was a truly good person who was very imaginative and loved animation. He always wanted to be a full-time professional animator and loved Pixar movies. He was a good person and good friend.

    Rest in peace, Mark.

  • BIGCHEESECAMATO Oct 27, 2008

    Hey Mr. B.. U can run but you cant hide forever. Ashame that you had to take a life. When you are caught, you can live in peace in Prison. Guess those free movie tickets were worth it...

  • whatelseisnew Oct 27, 2008

    If this guy is guilty, he needs the death penalty. Next day right after the conviction.

  • whocares Oct 27, 2008

    Just what we need more crazy people running around with guns. If this guy has a prior record, why does he have a gun, and if he was on parole who was supposed to keep tabs on him. The other fellow should have known better, but I guess you have to believe your stepfather knows what is best for you. Or on the other hand he could have turned his stepfater in, had the police waiting for him, and not gone through with the robbery.

  • tbone0918 Oct 27, 2008

    yes the rpd is understaffed. But when one of the assistant managers quits because when she called for an escort she was denied that is telling you something. We have teenagers working late at night and there needs to be coverage. and what about the patrons? I'm tired of hoping and praying.

    There really needs to be coverage, either by rpd or the shopping center or the marquee. I mean the carmike on atlantic springs has 2 cops cars and 4 cops on friday and saturday nights.

  • commonsense4 Oct 27, 2008

    Randy Cox wrote: "I think a lot of people -- probably hundreds -- get murdered in Raleigh every day, but we don't hear about it. It's a big coverup in crime."

    So based on your estimate anywhere from 37,000 to 100,000 people are murdered in Raleigh every year?
    That's only more than the whole country combined.
    I think you might be just a bit off.

  • Randy Cox Oct 27, 2008

    I think a lot of people -- probably hundreds -- get murdered in Raleigh every day, but we don't hear about it. It's a big coverup in crime.

  • the EX Oct 27, 2008

    If you're not convinced by now this area is getting more dangerous every day, you need to wake up. If you can't go to WAKEFIELD without being safe, you can't go anywhere in Wake county. Time to start carrying concealed.