POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A Polk County father and son were charged with attempted murder after they opened fire on an innocent woman who they thought was trying to break into their home, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said Monday.
Sheriff Judd began a Monday afternoon press conference by describing the shooting incident as something that “you just absolutely cannot believe.”
“This ranks among the craziest stuff that I have seen in a while — and I’ve seen a lot of crazy stuff,” Judd said.
The incident began Saturday around 7 a.m. when a man living in an apartment complex off Cypress Gardens Road discovered a package on his doorstep containing medicine that did not belong to him.
“So our witness being a good Samaritan, being a good neighbor, doing what any of us would have, took the medicine to the [suspect’s] residence, hung it on the door, and left,” Judd said.
The two suspects, later identified as 73-year-old Gino Colonacosta and his 15-year-old son, had a Ring video doorbell that notified them of an unknown person at their door.
“So what do they do?” Judd asked. “They think they’re being broken into.”
Judd said the 15-year-old grabbed a .45 caliber firearm and looked around his house. Shortly after, “Gino not only picks up his firearm, he picks up his cane so he can walk,” Judd added.
The two then walked outside to search for what they believed was the burglar when they came across a woman sitting in a dark-colored car about 100 yards from their house. Judd said the woman was reading messages on her phone “minding her own business.”
When the woman looked up, she noticed Gino pointing a gun at her, demanding she get out of the car.
“She thinks ‘he’s about to carjack me, he’s going to rob me,” Judd said.
The woman quickly shifted the car into reverse as Gino and his son opened fire on the woman. Moments later, the woman shifted in drive and sped off.
“They shot at her seven times. She wasn’t hit,” Judd said. “During our investigation, we learned that one of the bullets — even though it didn’t hit her — went through the baby’s car seat and lodged in the driver’s seat of the car. Our victim was that close to death.”
Gino and his son were both charged with attempted murder among other charges. Neither suspect had a prior criminal record.
“What kind of craziness is that?” Judd asked.