Man arrested after Walgreens parking lot gun deal ends in accidental shooting

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SARASOTA, Fla. -- 22-year-old Asa Masotti was arrested on June 18th in connection with a shooting incident at a Sarasota Walgreens earlier this month.

Sarasota County Sheriff's deputies arrived at the Walgreens at 3601 Bee Ridge Road just past midnight June 9 following reports of a man being shot in the parking lot. After questioning, deputies learned Masotti had accidentally shot a man he did not know while trying to sell him a handgun. After asking the man if he was interested in buying a gun, Masotti produced a silver 9mm handgun that accidentally fired as he was pulling it out, the bullet hitting the victim in the thigh.

When a friend of Masotti's arrived soon after, witnesses say Masotti tried to give him the gun and told him to get rid of it out of fear of going to prison for shooting someone. The friend instead assisted the man who was shot, making sure 911 was called and remained on scene.

The victim, 27-year old Benjamin Smith, suffered a shattered femur and was flown to Blake Medical Center, undergoing surgery soon after. Smith was interviewed in the Blake ER and said Masotti was extremely remorseful, apologetic and scared.

Masotti, who has five prior arrests for Burglary, Aggravated Battery and Domestic Violence, was taken into custody June 18th and charged with Improper Exhibition of a Dangerous Weapon.