110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
Sheriff's helicopter lands on U.S. Highway 17-92
posted Dec 1, 2012 - 2:41:38pm
UPDATE DEC. 3: The DeLand Police Department reported today that the man shot Dec. 1 at RaceTrac, 2080 S. Woodland Blvd., is in stable condition.
Police identified the injured man as Francisco Grimaldo. DeLand Officer Constantino Procos reported that when he arrived on the scene at the RaceTrac Saturday, Grimaldo was lying on the ground near a silver Toyota, with blood coming from his stomach.
Procos also reported that when he arrived at RaceTrac, Deputy A. Winnie of the Volusia County Sheriff's Office was holding at gunpoint another man, identified as Paul Giangrasso of Deltona, who was on the ground and handcuffed.
The DeLand Police Department is still investigating the shooting, and has not yet released all the information in the case.
REPORTED DEC. 1: A witness who tried to break up the fight that led to a shooting about 1:40 p.m. today at the South DeLand RaceTrac said the man in a bluish-silver Toyota who fired "didn't shoot until he had absolutely no choice."
Witness Patrick Raines of DeLand said he and his wife pulled into the gasoline station at 2080 S. Woodland Blvd. as an argument between the occupants of a Toyota and the occupants of a red pickup was getting heated.
"I saw the situation and I knew what was transpiring," Raines said. "I got out of my vehicle to try to diffuse it."
Raines said a woman from the pickup, holding a child, was challenging the older, female driver of the Toyota, while two males, who had also exited the pickup, approached the passenger side of the Toyota, which appeared to be trying to leave the scene.
Raines said the two men had opened the passenger door of the Toyota to continue an argument with the man inside.
"One of them had actually grabbed a hold of the guy," Raines said.
Raines said he was approaching the two vehicles when the shooting occurred, and he reported that the man from the pickup was shot in the abdomen, not in the leg, as other witnesses had reported.
"I got in between everything," Raines said. "The man knew what he was doing, because he could have shot the guy in the head."
Raines said he stepped between the men.
"Everyone else was hiding behind their cars. I was the [expletive] who walked right into the situation," Raines said.
Raines said he talked to the young boy who had been riding in the Toyota, and was given to understand that the fight started after the Toyota was parked at the gasoline pump, and the pickup pulled in, driving very close to the Toyota.
He said the man from the Toyota was remorseful about the shooting.
"This man, I'm sorry, but it's completely self-defense in this situation," Raines said.
Raines gave a statement to police on the scene. As he was trying to break up the fight, he said, he turned around to find a law-enforcement officer's assault rifle aimed right at him. Raines quickly raised his hands and explained his role in the incident, he said.
REPORTED EARLIER: The shooting today at the South DeLand RaceTrac that left one man bleeding badly from a leg wound began as an argument between the occupants of two vehicles over positioning at a gasoline pump, witnesses told The Beacon.
The witnesses said there were children in both vehicles.
One witness said a bluish-silver Toyota pulled up behind a red pickup at one of the gasoline station's many pumps, and the Toyota driver honked for the pickup to move up, so the Toyota could pull further forward.
The honk set off an oral altercation, the witness said, with two men getting out of the pickup and one man getting out of the passenger side of the Toyota to argue.
The Toyota was driven by an older woman, and a boy who appeared to be 9 or 10 years old was in the back seat, the witness said. In the pickup was a woman and at least one small child, in addition to the two men, according to the witness.
The witness saw the man get back in the Toyota, and the car began to leave the area, when the two men from the pickup approached the passenger side of the vehicle, apparently intending to open the passenger door and continue the argument.
"If they would have let the Toyota drive off and leave, none of this would have happened," the witness said. "It's a sad situation."
As the two men approached the Toyota, witnesses heard glass breaking and then a pop.
"One of the Latino gentlemen [from the pickup] dropped to the ground," one witness said. "He didn't get up again."
"He shot one point blank in the leg; dropped him," the other witness said.
One witness said it appeared the man had been shot in the leg, but was bleeding profusely. He was airlifted for medical care by the Volusia County Sheriff's Office helicopter, which landed on U.S. HIghway 17-92 in front of the store at 2080 S. Woodland Blvd.
After the shooting, witnesses said a man, who appeared to be in his 30s or early 40s, got out of the Toyota, holding a very small handgun, the witness said.
The shooting triggered a strong reaction from the woman in the pickup, he said, who exited the truck and went to the Toyota and slammed one of its car doors.
"It was very volatile," the witness said.
About 7 minutes after the shooting, law-enforcement vehicles surrounded the RaceTrac station and deputies approached the scene with their guns drawn, one witness said.
"Cops came from all directions," he said.
The man with the gun, whose hand was wrapped as if it had been injured, was taken away by the Sheriff's Office in handcuffs, the witnesses said. This witness said the man from the Toyota expressed remorse about having shot the other man, and said he had done it to protect his son.
REPORTED EARLIER: The DeLand RaceTrac convenience store at 2080 S. Woodland Blvd. was the scene of a shooting midday today, Dec. 1.
The Volusia County Sheriff's Office Air One helicopter landed at the scene on U.S. Highway 17-92, and the gasoline station was surrounded by Sheriff's Office vehicles, ambulances and other emergency vehicles. Traffic backed up on the highway as law-enforcement responded to the incident.
At 2:30 p.m., U.S. Highway 17-92 (South Woodland Boulevard) is open in both directions, with traffic flowing well. Crime-scene tape surrounds the gasoline station and its parking lot.
It is not known how many people, if any, were shot. Attention was being focused on a red pickup still parked at the RaceTrac station, which is closed while the investigation continues.
Witnesses reported hearing at least one gunshot.
More information will be added to this story as it becomes available.
As a side note, Woodland Boulevard is closed through Downtown DeLand at this time, for the DeLand Jaycees Christmas Parade, which began at 2 p.m.
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