Homeowner shoots pool cleaner mistaken for intruder

WWSB ABC7 News at 11pm
Published: Jun. 26, 2023 at 6:55 PM EDT
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DUNEDIN, Fla. (WWSB) - A man will not face charges after shooting a pool cleaner he mistook for an intruder, according to Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

Police say at approximately 9 p.m. on Thursday, a pool technician employed by Bay Area Pool Techs arrived to service a pool at a home in Dunedin.

One of the homeowners heard noises in the pool lanai and observed an unknown man on the pool deck, who she did not recognize. She became concerned, as no one was supposed to be at their residence at that time, and notified her husband. The woman yelled for the man to get out and to go away several times.

She then called 911, and her husband retrieved an AR-15 rifle from their bedroom. The homeowner observed a flashlight coming toward the door and fired two rounds from his rifle. Shrapnel from the bullet and glass struck the pool technician, who fled from the lanai area. The man then fired several more rounds toward the lanai. Police say he fired a total of 30 rounds in 90 seconds.

The victim was transported to the hospital with minor injuries.

He had been working for the homeowners prior to this incident for around six months to a year. The victim had showed up at their home later than expected because he had been busy with other appointments but did not inform the homeowners.

PCSO said the man was acting within Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law when he fired his weapon, therefore no crime occurred.

“It was lawful but awful,” says Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.