ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla. (WFLA) — A bullet hole and shattered glass is what’s left at the scene of a shooting police say happened in broad daylight Saturday at the 7/11 gas station off of 5th Ave in Zephyrhills.
“It’s scary,” said Danny Boucher who lives nearby. “Being a homeowner and wanting the community to be nice and comfortable and good growth–it’s worrisome that I’m not even safe to go to the store.”
Zephyrhills police say it all started with an argument between four people in front of the gas station.
“Two of the individuals brandished firearms, exchanged gunfire, injuring three with gunshot wounds,” said Zephyrhills Police Chief Derek Brewer.
Three people were transported to nearby hospitals with gunshot wounds–two in critical condition.
As of Sunday morning one remained in critical condition, another now stable and the third has been released from the hospital.
Those injuries were sustained in a shooting Chief Brewer said could have been avoided.
“Unfortunately these days simple situations can turn extremely violent, and I think that’s what we saw here,” he said. “Sometimes it’s easy to want to stick up for yourself, but sometimes it’s easier to walk away from situations.”
Some Zephyrhills residents like Larry Best tell 8 On Your Side they’re concerned their small town isn’t what it used to be.
“Zephyrhills was quiet pretty much,” he explained. “Everybody knew each other.”
Best grew up in Zephyrhills and took a look back at how much the city has changed.
“With all the expansion nowadays, you see new faces coming in,” he said. “You don’t really know everybody like you used to.”
His advice is to be aware of your surroundings and watch out for your neighbors.
“Watch your backs,” Best explained. “Watch out for each other.”
“Watch people [and] their movements,” he continued.
Police say this is an isolated incident, and there is no existing threat to the public.
“Right now, we’re trying to figure out who are the suspects and who are the victims,” Chief Brewer explained.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact the Zephyrhills Police Department at (813) 780-0050, option 1.