A Palm Coast man has been charged with discharging a firearm in public in the shooting of an occupied car on West Granada Boulevard in front of Wal-Mart on Aug. 9.
Jay P. Estes, 38, of 15 Ridley Lane, was given a notice to appear in court, according to Ormond Beach Police Department spokesman Officer Keith Walker. The charge is a misdemeanor.
Estes is a self-employed contractor, according to the police incident report.
On Aug. 9, an Ormond Beach woman, Sonia Bolles, called police after her car was shot as she was turning left onto Williamson Boulevard from westbound West Granada Boulevard about 9:30 p.m.
The bullet went through the passenger door and into the center console. Her daughter was in the back seat of the Kia Sedona.
The next day, detectives determined, by the bullet’s trajectory, that it came from the Wal-Mart parking lot on a straight line into the door. They found the bullet after taking the console apart.
On Aug. 11, Grant Zimmerman, of Ormond Beach, came forward to police, according to a police report. He completed a sworn statement saying that he met Estes about 9:15 p.m. on the night of the shooting in the Wal-Mart parking lot to sell him a pair of motorcycle boots. He had listed the boots on Craigslist.
The statement by Zinnmerman describes the following sequence of events.
After completing the sale, the two began talking. The suspect, Estes, then took a revolver from his pocket to show Zimmerman. He emptied rounds from the gun onto the driver seat of his car.
The suspect then said he wanted to show the witness (Zimmerman) how quickly he could get the gun out of his pocket because of its size. He told the witness to “come at him like he was going to rob him” but the witness declined.
The suspect then took the gun out of his pocket, leveled it and pulled the trigger three times. On the third pull, the gun fired and the bullet went toward West Granada Boulevard.
The two men looked at each other in disbelief, the statement said, and then left the scene.
The witness said the firearm was not pointed at him, but the bullet went by him.
Later that night, the suspect texted, “I’m sorry,” to the witness.
Suspect turns himself in
On Aug. 23, the suspect arrived at the Ormond Beach Police Department, saying he wanted to see the police chief and then gave a sworn statement. In his statement, he admitted to pointing the 38-caliber handgun toward West Granada Boulevard and accidentally firing a bullet that he did not know was in the gun. He said when he had attempted to empty the gun, some bullets fell on the floor and that distracted him. Also in his report, he said he did not remember asking the other man to "come at him."
There was an officer in the parking lot of Wal-Mart at the time of the shooting. The suspect said he saw the officer, but did not tell him about the incident because he was hoping the bullet hit a tree. He went back the next day to look for it. He said he has a permit to carry a concealed weapon.