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Palm Coast Monday, Dec. 14, 2015 2 years ago

Man arrested after neighbor says he pointed gun at child, animals

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The man said he'd been target shooting beer cans in his backyard.
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

The 74-year-old man on Bimini Lane said he was just shooting at beer cans. His neighbor, the owner of the Second Chance Rescue animal rescue organization, said he pointed his gun at a 16-year-old girl on her property and that he'd fired guns in the direction of her and the girl and the rescue animals before.

The man, David Ralph Gilmore, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

The incident started at about 9:41 a.m. Dec. 8. A deputy was called out to the street, and Debra Root, the owner of the rescue organization, "stated that (Gilmore) has previously fired gunshots toward the direction of her and (the girl) and towards the animals on her land and that it is a recurring issue," the deputy wrote in a  report.

Gilmore was told not to point his guns at anyone or at any property that was not his. There are homes immediately north, south and east of his property. He said he hadn't, and that he understood. 

But less than two hours later, at 10:57 a.m., a deputy was called out to the area again. Root and the girl said that Gilmore "was hiding behind a tree in his backyard and pointed his shotgun at (the girl), she was in fear of imminent danger and called for (Root)," who told the girl to go inside and then saw Gilmore entering and leaving his home with various long guns, according to the report. 

Root told the deputy "she was in fear for herself and her animals on her property."

Gilmore told the deputy that he hadn't pointed his guns toward the girl or toward Root's property, and that he was targeting shooting beer cans in his yard. 

"I did observe beer cans with bullet holes in them which were consistent with (Gilmore's) statement," the deputy wrote in the report. "It should be noted that  (Gilmore) states there is a long history of a neighbor dispute between (Gilmore) and (Root)."

But the deputy found a .410 gauge shell in Gilmore's backyard that wasn't  near the beer cans Gilmore said he'd been firing at, and was "approximately 50 feet from the barn where (the girl) had been at during the incident."

The deputy arrested Gilmore and confiscated two shotguns, a .410 and a .22. 

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