A 23-year-old Ormond Beach man showed up at Florida Hospital Flagler with a gunshot wound Sept. 6, saying he’d been robbed, then shot.
But the man and his 19-year-old girlfriend gave law enforcement officers such contradictory and muddled stories that both a Flagler County Sheriff’s Office deputy and a Flagler Beach Police Department officer wrote in separate reports that the wounded man may have accidentally shot himself. The wounded man had himself been arrested multiple times in Volusia County on gun-related charges, including carrying a concealed handgun, possession of a weapon on school property and aggravated assault with a firearm.
A Flagler County Sheriff’s Office deputy was dispatched to the hospital at about 11:08 p.m. Sept. 6.
The deputy wrote that the young man said he and his girlfriend had gone to Epic Theatres and that the man said he’d been drinking all day — including vodka in the car — and that at some point the couple pulled over onto an “unknown road” so the man could step out to pee.
When he walked back to the car and sat down, the man told the deputy, according to the deputy’s case report, a man “appeared from out of nowhere and brandished a chrome pistol. The suspect was wearing a black jacket or hooded sweatshirt,” and “pointed the gun at him demanding (the victim) give him his pants and then his wallet.”
When the 23-year-old started to stand up from the car, the robber shot him in the thigh, and the 23-year-old and his girlfriend went to the hospital, the wounded man told the deputy.
The woman gave the deputy a completely different story, not mentioning the movie theater. She said the couple had been walking on Oceanshore Boulevard in Flagler Beach when two men approached the couple, and one said “Give me your (profanity),” and held out a black handgun. When the 23-year-old reached into his pocket for his wallet, the woman said, she looked at her boyfriend and said, “Why the (profanity) are you giving it to him?” The gunman then shot her boyfriend, she said.
“Deputies pointed out to both of them that they had completely different accounts of the robbery,” the deputy wrote in the report. “The angle the suspect was shot is not consistent with the suspect directly facing him.”
A Flagler Beach police officer was dispatched to the hospital at 12:10 a.m. Sept. 7 and met with the 23-year-old man, who was “partially incoherent and very disoriented,” according to the officer’s report, and at first told the officer that he’d been walking on the beach when the robbery happened. Later he said he wasn’t sure where it happened, then said it happened on Belle Terre Parkway in Palm Coast. His girlfriend said she thought the couple had been in the area of North 3rd Street and Oceanshore Boulevard when the shooting happened, but she was also "very unsure,” according to the report.
She let a police officer search her Ford Fusion, but the police officer found “no bloodstains or evidence of value … no handgun or bullets.”
The officer interviewed the 23-year-old again, and he said the robber who’d shot him was standing very close to him, face-to-face, when the shooting happened. The wounded man said he'd had no cash in his wallet — just cards.
Both the Sheriff’s Office deputy and the Flagler Beach Police Department officer wrote that the man’s wound, in his right leg about a foot above the knee, appeared to be from a small caliber handgun.
“The wound appeared to have been an accidental self-inflicted gunshot or gunshot from the unknown (man) at very close proximity,” the Flagler Beach officer wrote.
The officer wanted to use a gunshot residue kit — or GSR kit — but couldn’t find one at either the police department of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office: “An attempt to locate a GSR kit at the FBPD or FCSO yielded negative results,” the officer wrote in the report.
“Unknown if (the victim) was indeed shot by one of the (men) or if he accidentally shot himself,” the officer wrote.