Monica Hernandez / Eyewitness News
Email: | Twitter: @mhernandezwwl

NEW ORLEANS -- A 63-year-old man is dead and his wife is in the hospital after an armed robbery at their LaPlace store.

It happened around 2:30 p.m. at LaPlace Feed and Supply on Sleepy Redwood Street.

Authorities plan to guard the scene all night and into Wednesday morning. They are still canvassing the area, searching for any clues that could strengthen their case.

Deputies gathered on top of the LaPlace levee while searching for suspects or evidence in a fatal armed robbery at the nearby LaPlace Feed and Supply.

St. John the Baptist Sheriff Mike Tregre says robbers shot the longtime owners of the store, a husband and wife, and made off with a cash register.

Steve Finckbeiner, 63, is dead. His wife, 58-year-old Constance Finckbeiner, is undergoing surgery at University Hospital in New Orleans.

The crime has sent shockwaves through this close-knit community.

'It was pretty unnerving. It's usually a quiet neighborhood. I was shocked to see where it happened,' said Lamonte Walker, a St. John resident.

Within hours, deputies detained two persons of interest, thanks to nearby home surveillance video. They are being questioned but have not been charged.

'We're using those images, height, weight clothing, and it led us to some subjects that fit those characteristics and that clothing,' Tregre said.

Now, federal state and local authorities are canvassing the scouring the area with canines, hoping to find the stolen cash register.

'Doing a systematic search of yards, garbage cans, under houses.'

Authorities plan to search as long as necessary, while the community prays for the victims and their families.

'I'm real sorry for them. This is a horrible thing that didn't need to happen,' said neighbor Sean McGraw.

No word on Constance Finckbeiner's condition, but authorities say she was alert and talking.

A family friend said the Ponchatoula couple has four children.

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