In South Florida, police said they won’t charge a neighbor who shot at a car used by a person delivering groceries to the wrong house.
Officials in Davie, a town about 26 miles north of Miami, said on Friday that the shooter, Antonio Caccavale, 43, would not be charged because he acted out of fear.
Also, police said that the Instacart driver will not be charged because he moved based on how they thought the situation was dangerous when the car was moving erratically and hit a rock and the shooter’s foot.
Investigators said they didn’t have video of what happened, so they had to rely on each side’s story, which had its own version of what happened and when.
Detective Patrick Di Cintio said in an addendum to the police report on the case, “Each side seems to have done the right thing based on how they saw the situation.”
It wasn’t clear if the detective thought the shooting was okay because of Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law, which was the first of its kind in the country. This law says that people don’t have to run away before using possibly deadly force to protect themselves, their families, and their property.
The driver, Waldes Thomas Jr., and his friend, Diamond Harley D’arville, were trying to deliver groceries on April 15 at night. They were talking to the customer’s wife on the phone for help with directions when the accident happened.
The Honda Civic stopped on Caccavale’s property, which is next door to the home of Instacart customer Daniel Orta. Caccavale’s son came out at his father’s request to tell the two people in the car to get off the land.
It’s not clear what happened next or in what order, but the document says that the driver and his friend said Caccavale approached them angrily, which made them leave quickly. The two people said that Caccavale had grabbed or otherwise attached himself to the moving car, the report said.
The Civic hit Caccavale’s foot, according to the police report. After that, Caccavale said he started fire to stop more injuries and protect his family from the car.
The report said that the homeowner said he had pointed his semiautomatic Smith & Wesson handgun at the tires of the car in an attempt to disable it as a threat.
“He told the police that he fired three shots at the car after it hit him,” the police report said. “He said he shot at the car because he feared for the safety of himself and his children.”
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Thomas and D’arville Were Clearly Scared
The Civic left the property, and the report said that police found it a few blocks away, and stopped on train tracks. The car showed signs of round hits, and one tire was flat, the report said.
Police said that Thomas and D’arville were clearly scared, but that they were otherwise fine. Police did not say how bad Caccavale’s foot injuries were.
The two people said they only heard shots when they tried to leave because of what they called Caccavale’s aggressive behavior.
D’arville said, “I saw him pull out a gun, and that’s when I said, ‘We have to go, we have to go.'” “I was scared, I won’t lie about that.”
When NBC South Florida called Caccavale’s phone number, someone hung up when they heard who was calling.
In a statement, Instacart said it had reached out to Thomas and would help authorities if they asked.
It said, “The safety of everyone in the Instacart community is very important to us, and when we hear about violence or threats of violence against any member of the Instacart community, we take action right away.”
The company, which is based in San Francisco and was started in 2012 with the help of venture capital, helped set up modern grocery delivery by connecting gig economy drivers with online customers. This is similar to how Uber’s platform links drivers with people looking for rides.
Harold Pryor, the state attorney for Broward County, told NBC South Florida that he has asked for a review of the case and the Davie Police Department’s decision that no charges are needed.
Police say that on April 13, a teenager in Kansas City, Missouri, thought that a very similar address was the one where he was supposed to pick up his brothers. An old white resident, who has since been charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal action, shot the Black teenager, hurting him.
In the wake of the shooting of teen Ralph Yarl in Missouri, there have been more cases of gunfire over wrong places, roads, and cars. This has helped start a new national conversation about guns and fair justice.
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