Armed shopper shoots at Walmart shoplifter, police say
It started as a shoplifting incident inside the store on Veterans Memorial Parkway near Saxon Boulevard. A thief loaded up a cart of merchandise, and loss-prevention employees tried to stop him as he left the store, officials said.
Authorities said the shoplifter, identified as Eddie McKee, 42, knocked Ann Buongiorno to the ground as he ran out of the store.
"I'm all still shaken up from all this," said Buongiorno. "I thought I was going to die. I was knocked down very hard, and I thought I got shot, and I was screaming at the top of my lungs."
An off-duty law enforcement officer saw McKee running for his car and ordered him to stop, but McKee fled.
Investigators said another man in the parking lot, who was identified as Jose Martinez, pulled out a gun and fired at least four shots at McKee. The back window of the car was shot out, and bullet holes were found in the trunk.
Martinez told authorities he was trying to mark McKee's car, but officials said bullets landed inches away from the cars of bystanders.
"I just thank God that he protected us," Buongiorno said.
"There was no one in danger," Martinez said.
"There is a gray sports car in Orange City on Veterans Memorial Parkway, and it has got the windshield in the back blown out, and it looks like he is running from something," said a 911 caller.
"One (man) drew a gun, opened the guy's car door, yelled, 'Freeze! Freeze!' and then fired shots," she told the dispatcher.
Buongiorno's husband said he thinks the citizen had a right to shoot.
"He came at us," said Andrew Buongiorno. "(He) threw the car in reverse, tried to run us over. That's attempted murder."
No one was shot.
There were minor injuries to two people from the store, including the woman who was pushed down, according to authorities. The shooter was taken to a hospital with some type of injury.
McKee, the alledged shoplifter was stopped near South Kepler Road and East New York Avenue in DeLand, authorities said. He faces a misdemeanor charge.
Investigators said Martinez, who fired the shots, was charged with two felonies, but he does have a concealed weapons permit.