“I heard the pop”: Polk man shot in the face in his Winter Haven home

Polk County

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Winter Haven man said a recent attempted murder is just another example of increasing crime in his neighborhood.

“The fact that somebody got shot is pretty scary,” said Richard Steed.

He has lived on Avenue A SW for more than two decades. Car break-ins have been a growing problem.

“There’s a lot in this neighborhood that’s changed in the last 20 years, quite a bit. It’s a little bit more violent now,” Steed said.

He said he has heard gunfire behind his home before but never as close as a shooting that occurred Wednesday night.

“It was loud. About 10 o’clock at night. I heard the pop,” he said.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is looking for three suspects. Images of two of them were captured on surveillance cameras in the backyard.

Courtesy: Polk County Sheriff’s Office

Two men were in the pool area.

“They notice on the surveillance video that these guys are creeping up. They’re kind of wearing skull caps and looking like criminals. How do you know that? One of them is holding a gun,” explained Sheriff Grady Judd.

One of the men in the home tried to defend himself.

“He gets a baseball bat. He blasts out of the door and immediately is shot in the face,” said Sheriff Judd.

Then, Sheriff Judd said, the suspects searched his pockets before fleeing.

“The good news is he’s going to survive and he’s in really great shape for being shot in the face. The bad news is that we don’t know who the robbers are so we need the community’s help,” said Judd.

Courtesy: Polk County Sheriff’s Office

Authorities are still trying to determine what lead to the incident and if the men involved knew each other.

“We cannot tell you at this point in time that drugs had anything to do with this robbery because we saw no evidence of drugs while we were there,” said Sheriff Judd.

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