A gun owner in Florida was arrested on Wednesday after he opened fire at a suspected Walmart shoplifter because he said he felt threatened and wanted to “mark” the man’s car for police.
As unarmed 42-year-old Eddie McKee allegedly ran from an Orange City Walmart with stolen merchandise, 35-year-old Jose Martinez pulled out his gun and fired at least five bullets, according to WKMG.
“I saw one black gentleman running from the parking lot, he dove in his car,” a caller told 911. “And there were two older gentlemen chasing him down. One drew a gun, ripped open the guys car door and screamed, ‘Freeze, freeze, don’t move!’ And then fired shots.”
Bullets riddled McKee’s vehicle, hitting the trunk and shattering the back window. Two other cars were also hit by gunfire.
Martinez told WKMG that he was shocked that police arrested him because he thought no one other than the shoplifter was in danger. He said he just wanted to mark the man’s car for police.
Orange City police argued that surveillance video showed that the gun owner was never in danger because McKee was in the process of fleeing when the shooting occurred.
Martinez has permit to carry a concealed weapon in Florida, but was charged with aggravated assault and shooting into an occupied vehicle, both felonies.
McKee faced a misdemeanor charge after police caught up with him in DeLand.
Watch the following video reports from WESH and WKMG, broadcast Feb. 27, 2013.