the unrelated victim of the shooting and the dog have both been

Suspect Shoots Innocent Bystander And Dog During Confrontation Behind Spring Hill Publix

the unrelated victim of the shooting and the dog have both been

SPRING HILL, Fla. – Hernando County Sheriff Deputies are on the scene of a shooting behind the Publix located at 160 Mariner Boulevard in Spring Hill.

The suspect is now in custody, according to deputies.

Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis said preliminary investigation shows that an incident that occurred in Pasco County between the suspected shooter and another person escalated into Spring Hill, behind the Publix.

“There was a confrontation where the suspected shooter was asking for money or items value from that known victim,” said Neinhuis.

“A totally innocent and unrelated bystander was nearby in the vehicle, and that person’s dog barked, which caught the attention of our suspected shooter. The suspected shooter went over to that vehicle and in the course of that altercation ended up shooting the dog and the person in that vehicle, both of which were totally unrelated to the shooter or the original altercation with the person known to the shooter,” said Neinhuis.

Deputies arrived on the scene very quickly and began providing first aid to the male shooting victim.  Just as deputies began providing aid, witnesses began yelling that the suspect was back.  Deputies turned their attention to the suspect.

The suspect, later identified as Randall Lynn Gerding Jr., 51, was ordered to exit his vehicle with his hands in the air.  Gerding complied at first, then appeared to begin reaching inside his vehicle for a firearm. 

Deputies continued to order Gerding to put his hands in the air/not reach inside his vehicle.  Fortunately, Gerding complied and deputies were not required to use lethal force.

Randall Lynn Gerding Jr. was taken into custody and transported to the Hernando County Detention Center, where he remains.

The unrelated victim of the shooting and the dog have both been transported to be treated. Deputies say the is receiving advanced care at a trauma center.  His condition is classified as “stable” at this time.

The dog is also receiving veterinary care at a local veterinarian’s office, and its condition is listed as “stable’ as well.

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