A Florida man and his teenage son have been arrested for attempted murder after allegedly opening fire on a woman sitting in her car, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said at a news conference on Monday.
Describing the Saturday incident as a “really, really stupid” crime that nearly led to the unnamed woman’s death, Judd said Gino Colonacosta, 73, and his 15-year-old son received Ring doorbell camera alerts on Saturday showing activity at their apartment door.
Believing there was a burglar at the door, Judd said the father and son armed themselves with .45-caliber firearms and went outside to search for the apparent perpetrator.
In reality, what the Ring doorbell camera showed was a “good Samaritan” male neighbor who had mistakenly received a prescription drug shipment meant for the Colonacostas and was delivering it to their door, Judd said.
Outside their apartment, a woman was sitting in her vehicle on her cell phone when she saw Gino Colonacosta pointing a gun at her and ordering her out of her vehicle, Judd said.
Thinking she was about to be carjacked, the woman put the car in reverse, crashing into the car behind her, and then fled, Judd said.
As she escaped, Gino Colonacosta and his minor son opened fire, Judd said.
“The two of them shot at an innocent lady sitting in her car where she had a right to be,” Judd said, noting they allegedly fired seven times, with one round passing through an empty child seat in the vehicle.
“Certainly, had there been a baby in the car seat, the baby would have been killed,” Judd said.
CNN has reached out to attorneys for the Colonacostas but has not heard back.
“They go out searching for a burglar that wasn’t there and shot up an innocent lady’s car while she was in it,” Judd said. “That’s crazy!”
Polk County online law enforcement records show Gino Colonacosta has been charged with nine counts, including attempted felony murder, discharging a firearm in public, and contributing to the delinquency of a dependent. The sheriff said the minor son is being processed through the county’s juvenile detention system.
“We have a wonderful stand your ground law (in Florida),” Judd said, describing the state statute that allows residents to defend their property in certain circumstances, but said, “that doesn’t mean you can go search people out and shoot them. You don’t leave the security of your home and go out and chase people down.”
Gino Colonacosta’s next court appearance is November 22.