Thrown beer can leads to fatal shooting in Florida

Lake County Sheriff’s Office

(NEW YORK) — A can of beer, a semi-automatic pistol and a dune buggy were factors in a deadly confrontation in Florida on Friday.

A Florida man allegedly threw a beer can as a dune buggy passed him, then fatally shot the driver after a confrontation, according to court records.

The alleged shooter, Wallace Mannin Kirkland, 59, of Sorrento, Florida, was standing on the side of a road with his wife and their neighbor when another man drove by in a dune buggy, according to an arrest affidavit. Kirkland “either attempted to or did throw a beer can” over the vehicle as it passed, leading to a confrontation between the driver and Kirkland.

“I’m going to kill you,” the driver allegedly told Kirkland after exiting his vehicle, according to the affidavit.

When the two men were within four feet of each other, Kirkland allegedly shot the man in the chest with a Ruger semi-automatic pistol, prompting the victim to say “he couldn’t believe” Wallace Kirkland shot him, according to the affidavit.

Witnesses to the incident told authorities they could not see any weapons in the victim’s hand, and the affidavit noted that the victim was both “outnumbered and physically smaller” than Kirkland and his neighbor.

According to court records, the victim attempted to return to his vehicle and drive away, but he lost consciousness. He later died at a nearby hospital in Eustis, Florida.

“Based on multiple interviews with witnesses, it appeared that Mr. Kirkland and [the victim] had several verbal altercations in the past,” according to the arrest affidavit.

Kirkland was arrested around midnight on May 13 and charged with manslaughter and aggravated battery. He was briefly held on a $40,000 bail.

A Lake County Sheriff’s Office representative confirmed that Kirkland was released on bond and was still permitted to carry a firearm until he is convicted.

Kirkland is scheduled to be arraigned on June 5.

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