Bystander shoots man who attacks security guard at Cocoa Wawa, police say

COCOA, Fla. — Cocoa police said a cabbie shot and injured a man who charged after him when he tried to break up a fight.

The fight and shooting happened Sunday morning at the Wawa gas station on West King Street, but as of Monday evening, no one is facing charges.

Investigators are still putting together their case, which will be handed over to the State Attorney's Office.


"The security guard was just doing his job that's what he gets paid for," said Cocoa resident Bridget Rivera.

Police said after a complaint about public urination, the security guard asked two men to leave the store.

Once outside, an argument got physical and the security guard was punched and knocked to the ground. That's when a bystander with a concealed carry permit stepped in.

"I think if anybody has the opportunity to protect life and they feel like someone is in danger of being severely hurt, then they are within their (rights) to protect human life," said Detective Chris Hattaway, with the Cocoa Police Department.

Police said the bystander drew his weapon and ordered the men to stop.

But instead, police believe 46-year-old Rafael Santiago charged at the bystander, who fired a single shot, injuring Santiago.

"We're taking all the facts of the case and giving them to the SAO to review to follow that route to see what if any charges can be delivered at that time," Hattaway said.

WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said the State Attorney's Office may be the best option in this situation where attorneys will likely weigh if this shooting could be considered self-defense, a shooting in the defense of another, or even a stand your ground case.

Police said Santiago is expected to recover from his injuries.

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