• Deputies search for gunman in shooting outside gas station near Maitland

    By: Jason Kelly


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Three men were shot Monday afternoon outside a gas station near Maitland, the Orange County Sheriff's Office said.

    The shooting was reported at about 3:15 p.m. outside a Trackway on Forest City Road near Maitland Boulevard, Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Jane Watrel said.

    A 40-year-old man and a 25-year-old man were taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center, and a 20-year-old man appeared at Florida Hospital Altamonte, Watrel said.

    The 40-year-old man's injuries are life-threatening, she said.

    The victims' identities haven't been released.

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    Witnesses told Channel 9 that they heard 15 to 20 gunshots.

    One of the stray bullets pierced the wall of a nearby home.

    Raymond Pearson said he was was washing dishes when he heard gunfire. He said he ran to the victims with a dish towel in hand and applied pressure to the wounds of one of the men, whom he knows.

    "I only had one rag," he said. "I did the best I could. I don't know if he'll make it or not, but I hope he does."

    Pearson said he was angered by Monday's shooting and is now considering moving from the area.

    "How many bullets can you dodge?" he said. "And how long before they open fire again?"

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    Detectives haven't disclosed the gunman's motive, but Pearson said one of the victims told him the shooting stemmed from an argument over a car.

    "We need people to stop opening fire," Pearson said. "If you own a gun, be responsible. Don't start shooting all willy-nilly, because what if you hit some bystander?"

    Deputies said there could be as many as two gunmen at large.

    They described the shooting, which remains under investigation, as an isolated incident.

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