Local News

One theater-shooting suspect loose, two in court

Posted October 27, 2008 12:39 p.m. EDT
Updated November 13, 2008 5:05 p.m. EST

— 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.