Man accused of shooting man in face with pellet gun after questioning his ethnicity

PASCO COUNTY - UPDATE: The victim was not Middle Eastern, he was Trinidadian and at this time, the county does not want to identify the incident as a hate crime. Read here for more information


The Council on American Islam Relations (CAIR) is offering a $1000 for the capture of a suspect in what the Pasco County Sheriff's Office is calling a hate crime.

Deputies say a Manatee man of Middle Eastern descent and his white girlfriend were shopping at the WalMart on Land O' Lakes Boulevard Wednesday morning when a man shot at them.

Officials say the suspect approached the couple, giving the man a hard time about his ethnicity.

As the couple approached their car, the suspect made several comments before shooting the man in the face with a pellet gun.

The suspect fled. The victim wasn't seriously hurt.

The suspect has not been found, but his image was captured on WalMart's surveillance video, which can be viewed below.

Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to contact police at (727) 844-7711.


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