TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Florida man was charged with attempted murder after swinging a hatchet at his landlord and shooting him in the face, according to deputies.
The Volusia Sheriff’s Office said that Fredie Vale, 47, lived in a barn apartment on the 77-year-old victim’s property.
Vale approached the victim Tuesday evening while carrying the hatchet. Deputies said Vale gave the victim the hatchet only to snatch it back and threaten the victim.
The 47-year-old then swung the hatchet, which deputies said caused the victim to fall on the ground.
The sheriff’s office said Vale got on top of the victim and tried to hit him with the hatchet as the 77-year-old man dodged the blows, kicking Vale to get him off.
Deputies Vale eventually got off the victim, went to his apartment, and came back with a pistol.
He pointed the gun at the victim, but the gun did not fire. However, the sheriff’s office said Vale pointed the gun at his landlord a second time and fired one shot, hitting the victim in the left side of his face.
Vale went back to his apartment as the victim ran home and warned his wife about what happened while she was cooking dinner. The couple locked themselves inside their home and called law enforcement, according to the sheriff’s office.
Deputies said Vale drove away from the scene at a high speed but was found nearly three hours later at a Deltona Walmart.
The victim was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The victim told authorities that Vale was one of his employees and that they had a good relationship for four or five years.
“The couple allowed Vale to move in about two years ago because he was down on his luck,” the sheriff’s office said.
Vale was charged with attempted first-degree murder with a firearm and was held without bail allowed until his first appearance court hearing.