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Carjacker shoots man with flare gun during Pasco County crime spree

Posted at 4:46 PM, Sep 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-30 19:30:01-04

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — Driving at speeds around 100 miles per hour, the Pasco Sheriff's Office says carjacking suspect William Gonzalez hit three cars as he tried to get away from deputies.

Finally, investigators say he dumped a stolen Mercedes off Trouble Creek Road and ran off.

Just before the chase deputies say Gonzalez used a flare gun to steal the car from two people parked in front of a home on Topsail Trail. It’s right across the street from where Alan Regan lives.

“If somebody wanted me to get out out of the car, I’d just go. I don’t want to be shot with a flare gun," said Regan.

But deputies say the victims tried to fight off Gonzalez and in the struggle, Gonzalez shot one of them in the head with the flare gun.

Before the carjacking, the Sheriff’s Office says Gonzalez went on a crime spree stealing a bicycle, the flare gun that he used, and a kayak belonging to Roger Freeman.

“At first I thought it was humorous. You are gonna steal my kayak? Where you gonna go with it?" said Freeman.

One of Freeman’s neighbors snapped a picture of what looks like Gonzalez in that kayak, padding in the canal. Freeman eventually got it back.

As for Gonzalez, who deputies say has a history of drug use, he was found and arrested.

The man he allegedly shot with the flare gun was hospitalized with burns on his head, ear and hand.

“I hope he’s doing better and I hope the other guy gets what he deserves," said Regan.