NewsRegion North HillsboroughLutz

Actions

Shooter still on the loose after firing shotgun at married couple in Lutz

Act of kindness might have triggered violence
Posted: 4:50 PM, Aug 06, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-06 22:22:06Z

LUTZ, Fla. — A husband and wife in Pasco County thought they were helping a fellow driver, but instead, they became the target of his anger.

The Sheriff’s Office said they still haven’t caught Luis Brito, but he is armed and dangerous.

They say the married couple was driving Friday night in Lutz when the woman saw another car with the headlights off, so she flashed hers to let him know.

Pasco deputies find vehicle , still searching for shooter in road rage incident

Eric and Lauren Batcho were just feet from their driveway when investigators say Brito fired at them with a shotgun.

Treva Cox says her daughter and son-in-law did not deserve this.

“There’s no way to wrap your head around it except to just say 'random acts of violence,' what the heck? 99.9% of the people out there would just turn their lights on and keep going,” said Cox.

Authorities say they believe Brito is the shooter. Police found his car in Tampa, but he’s still on the loose.

“How are you to know that there is some kind of unhinged person behind the wheel of the car that’s approaching,” said Cox.

Lauren’s injuries are minor, but Eric’s are much more serious. He will likely need multiple surgeries after getting shot in the face.

“Of course we are angry because it is so senseless, but we are trying to be positive about the fact that they both survived,” said Cox.

The shooting happened at Lake Como Drive and Moss Branch Court.

Anyone with information on where Luis Brito is should call 911. Crimestoppers is also offering a reward.

There is a GoFundMe page set up to help the Batho’s with medical expenses here .

Lauren wrote about the shooting on the GoFundMe page:

“We both have bullets and fragments of bullets in our bodies. My loving husband was airlifted from our home street and taken to a hospital where they put his nose back together and had to surgically remove bullets from his eye sockets.”

“He is still in very bad condition at the hospital. They are still performing cat scans to look for bullets that could be dangerous since he took all of the shot to the face.”

“Many friends, family, and strangers have been asking what they can do to help. The thing we need most now is your kindness and money to help pay medical bills. To all the doctors, nurses, family, and friends Eric and I want to say, “we are so grateful for you and that you helped save our precious lives. Thank you. We send you all infinite love and kindness.” In addition, I want to thank all the police officers who are diligently and relentlessly looking for the felon who shot Eric and I.”

“Please pray for their safety as they look for the man who tried to end our lives. Moreover, please pray that the officers find this man and put him away so he can never hurt another human being.”