POLK CITY, Fla. – On Monday, Polk County Sheriff’s Office detectives arrested 18-year-old Vincent Smith of Polk City for attempted first-degree murder (3 counts) and other related charges after he shot a 17-year-old Eagle Lake teen.
According to the investigation and witness statements, around 10:45 p.m. on Saturday, January 28, 2023, Smith, the victim, and others were hanging out near Surveyors Lake in unincorporated Bartow.
The victim noticed a red laser light pointed toward him and told his two friends that they needed to leave because he believed someone may have a gun.
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Deputies say that Smith approached the victim, and the two began to argue about the laser light. Smith then punched the victim in the face, removed a handgun from the waistband of his pants, and pointed it at the victim.
The victim and his two friends immediately retreated to their vehicle. As they drove away from the area, Smith fired several rounds at the vehicle, and one struck the victim in the back.
The victim told his friends he had been shot, and they drove him to a local hospital where he is being treated for his injuries. He is expected to make a full recovery.
Crime Scene Investigators recovered around 28 spent shell casings from the scene.
“The victims in this shooting tried to leave when the argument became heated, but Smith let his anger turn violent. Now a teenager has been shot, and Smith faces a lengthy prison sentence,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.
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Sheriff Detectives found Smith at a residence in Auburndale and took him into custody. He is currently in the Polk County Jail charged with:
- Attempted First Degree Murder (FL) (3 counts)
- Shooting into an Occupied Vehicle (F2)
- Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon (F3)
- Tampering with Evidence (F3)
- Carrying a Concealed Firearm (F3)
- Criminal Mischief (F3)
- Improper Exhibition of a Firearm (M1)
- Discharging a Firearm in Public (M1)
- Battery (M1)
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