Sarasota man narrowly escapes shotgun blasts as neighbor yells ‘I am Jesus Christ’

Sarasota County

A Sarasota man can’t figure out how he escaped being killed by a man firing off rounds from a shotgun.

He came very close. The accused shooter is in jail. 

Early Sunday morning, Sean Phagan went to get a movie at Walmart.

Riding his bike out of the Banyan Trail Apartments, he heard a blast from a gun.

“He fired off a round from his hip with a shotgun,” said Phagan.

The blast hit a second floor apartment across the street. It damaged the stucco, the lanai railing and shattered a sliding glass window.

“I didn’t get hit so I assume this guy was just firing blanks,” said Phagan.

He didn’t know it at the time, but he could have died instantly.

Accused of popping off the rounds and yelling “I’m Jesus Christ” is 57-year-old Charles Herr, who is one of Phagan’s neighbors.

“One of the sheriffs said that he was firing buckshot rounds. As far as I know, from the spread on the walls, that’s what it kind of looks like,” said Phagan.

Charles Herr wasn’t done shooting, cops say.

As Phagan ducked into his apartment, more shots came his way.       

Two more to be exact. They hit the side of his building and a downspout.

“I, very much so, counting my lucky stars. I still can’t believe this happened,” said Phagan.

Sarasota deputies collected evidence, including shot gun pellets, ammo and shell casings.

Apartment management sent a letter, warning about the incident.

“I’m just pretty lucky, and that my grandfather, my late grandfather, was looking over me or just angels everywhere,” said Phagan.

He said he’s never even seen Charles Herr before and has no idea why he’d want to shoot him.

Follow Peter Bernard on Facebook

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