This is a story about four guns in Flagler County, who uses them, and why.
The gun used in manslaughter
The day his son was sentenced to 25 years in prison for manslaughter, Thomas Merrill stood before a judge and explained where his son obtained the gun used in the crime.
His son, William Carson Merrill, pled no contest last year to charges of manslaughter after he shot and killed his wife with an AK-47 assault rifle. When police searched his house on Covington Lane after the shooting, they recovered more than 20 guns. (Click here for the full story ... )
The gun used for self defense
When deputies responded to a burglary in progress in October 2011, they arrived on scene to see Daniel Floyd standing in his driveway point a handgun at a man surrounded by blood and lying on the ground.
Floyd told deputies that the injured man, Tre’Quan Cobb, came with two other males to Floyd’s house looking for his roommate. When told the roommate was not home, one of the men kicked open the front door, and all three of the men forced themselves into the residence, according to Flagler County Sheriff’s Office documents. (Click here for the full story ... )
The gun used for recreation
Greg Eckley has a stressful job. He sees 125 customers per week through his business, Professional Pool Service of Flagler County.
But after he leaves the shooting ranges at the Flagler County Gun Club, his stress is gone.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Eckley said. “I go there with my son, and it’s a great way for us to bond. When we leave, we feel like there’s not a thing on our shoulders.” (Click here for the full story ... )
The gun used for everyday life
Before the sun comes up, the parking lot of the Quick King gas station on County Road 305 is packed. Men stand in circles near the gas pumps, trading news and making fun of each other. The lighter it gets, the fewer remain.
They’re hunters, construction workers, fishermen — or those retired from their trades. It’s informally known as the Coffee Club, and it’s a meeting place for residents of Daytona North from 5 to 7 a.m. daily.
Inside, Ray Petersen sits at a booth, one hand loosely wrapped around a Styrofoam coffee cup.
“There’s not a truck out there that doesn’t have a gun in it,” he said, looking over his shoulder toward the parking lot. (Click here for the full story ... )