A Florida father and his 15-year-old son were arrested on charges of attempted murder after shooting a woman they falsely believed was trying to break into their home, officials said.
Gino Colonacosta, 73, and his son opened fire on Saturday morning after receiving a Ring doorbell notification about someone at the front door of their Winter Haven apartment at around 7 a.m. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said:.
That person was a neighbor who received a drug delivery for the Coloncosta at his home, and because he was “a Good Samaritan,” he took the drug and hung it on the front door of the Coloncosta, Judd said.
But after receiving a warning from their Ring doorbell camera, the father and son left their home, armed with .45-caliber firearms, in search of a person they suspected was a burglar, the sheriff’s office said.
Nearly 100 yards away, they found a woman in a dark-colored vehicle with dark windows and the engine running, looking at her phone and aiming at her, Judd said.
When she looks up and sees Gino standing in the back of the car with a gun pointed at her, yelling for her to get out of the car, she’s like, ‘He’s about to carjack me, he’s about to carjack me. rob’.” Judd said.
The woman threw her car into reverse in an attempt to reverse, and in a frantic breakaway crashed into a car behind her.
The teenage son heard the commotion and approached the car thinking “our victim is trying to run into him” and he opened fire, Judd said.
Both Colonacosta and his son started firing at the car as the woman drove away.
They fired a total of seven times. The woman was not hit and alerted the sheriff’s office.
The investigation found that one of the bullets went through a baby’s car seat and lodged in the driver’s seat of the car.
“Our victim was so close to death and if there had been a baby in the car seat, the baby would have been killed,” Judd said.
The sheriff said the incident is one of “the craziest things I’ve seen in a while”.
“Here you have these two boys, who are way out of line. Get out of hand. They don’t understand Florida law,” he said.
He noted that Florida has a “abide by the constitution”, that allows a person to use violence or threaten to protect their home if they feel that a person is threatening or trying to invade them, but “that doesn’t mean you can go search and shoot people.”
“And news flash, even if the first man would have been the burglary suspect, if he was, they shot the wrong person,” Judd said.
The sheriff said neither Colonacosta nor his son had a criminal record until Saturday morning, adding: “Our goal is for them to go to jail.
“You don’t shoot people. You don’t leave home security and start chasing people,” Judd said with a sharp rebuke.
Colonacosta was arrested on charges of attempted murder with a weapon, improper display of a firearm, negligence, firing a firearm in public, parental guardianship permitting unlawful possession, conspiracy and contributing to delinquency, according to booking records. He is being held without bail.
His son was arrested on charges of attempted murder and other charges.
It is not immediately clear whether Colonacosta or his son have a lawyer.