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Charlotte County firefighter shot in Sarasota has died

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Posted: Sunday, August 5, 2012 3:12 pm

SARASOTA, FL. - A Charlotte County firefighter shot Saturday at a Sarasota apartment complex has died.

The shooting happened at the Saratoga Apartments in Sarasota around 3pm.

The firefighter was identified as Sam Dreher, a firefighter with Charlotte County Rescue.

Members of Sam Dreher's family say that the alleged shooter, Michael Minor, is apparently the boyfriend of Dreher's wife.

Authorities say Dreher and Minor got into a confrontation at the apartments, and that's where Minor allegedly opened fire.

"I'm still kind of numb its hard to wrap my mind around any of this," said Dreher's sister, Cindy Lutz.

Authorities say 39-year-old Dreher confronted his alleged shooter, 27-year-old Minor, after Dreher believed Minor was trying to break into his car.

"The most we can say right now is that Mr. Minor did go to those apartments because he knew that's where Mr. Dreher was," said Wendy Rose of the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office, "he was supposedly looking for some belongings that he thought were in Mr. Dreher's vehicle."

Documents show it was shortly after the altercation started that minor opened fire. "We believe Mr. Dreher saw the weapon that Minor had turned to go up the stairs, probably running for cover and at some point on the stairs he was shot," said Rose.

Investigators say four shots were fired, with two striking Dreher.

The victim's family described Dreher as a committed firefighter, and a man with deep roots in the community. "He played football at Charlotte High, and graduated in '92," said Lutz, "he was pretty popular and really active in school."

Authorities say Minor has confessed to the crime, and told officers at the scene "I'm so sorry. Oh my god, I didn't mean to kill someone."

Minor is charged with First Degree Murder, in addition to the Attempted Armed Robbery and Armed Burglary charges.

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