Police: Wounded shooting victim uses gun to fire back - again
LAKELAND - For the second time in 18 months, a club concert promoter used his legally concealed gun to fend off an attacker, police said. This time, however, he was shot first and wounded. In April 2011, Denard Joe was justified in killing a would-be masked robber, officials said. Early Tuesday, Joe was again targeted but was shot in the chest before he fired back and chased away two attackers, police said.Joe, 24, was taken to Lakeland Regional Medical Center in stable condition. Officials said he is expected to survive. Just before 4 a.m., Joe got out of his vehicle on the 1200 block of North Virginia Avenue when the men approached him and asked for a cigarette, police said. Investigators said one of the men pulled out a gun and shot Joe, who was struck by a bullet in a lung and rib. A wounded Joe, who carries a concealed weapons permit, then hid behind his vehicle and shot back at the pair until they fled, police said. "There's an exchange of words, and there's a shot fired," police Capt. Greg Policastro said. "He realizes he has been hit. There's multiple shots fired back and forth as he does have a gun and he does have a concealed firearms permit." Police said robbery appeared to be a motive but an investigation was ongoing. They added that there was no indication drugs were involved. Tuesday's shooting was eerily similar to what happened about 11 p.m. on April 4, 2011, when Joe and a friend were in a car on the same street. A man masked by a bandana tapped on the car window with a gun, police said. Joe used his 9 mm handgun and fired back, and Aaron Sconiers, 19, of Lakeland, was struck twice and died, police said. Police said the motive was likely robbery or carjacking. After an investigation, prosecutors said Joe was justified in using deadly force. On Tuesday, investigators surmised Joe may have been targeted because of his profession. "He is a promoter, so it very well could've been folks thought he was in possession of a substantial amount of money," Policastro said. Police are still looking for suspects in Tuesday shooting. Anyone with information was asked to call the Lakeland Police Department.
News Channel 8 reporter Chip Osowski contributed to this report.