Man sentenced to 7 years in prison for shooting in Naples’ Mercato parking garage


Joshua Morales, 23, was sentenced to seven years in prison followed by five years of probation for a shooting at Mercato in Naples, according to State Attorney Amira D. Fox.

Morales was adjudicated guilty on one count of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

He was with his girlfriend, who was driving, in a car in the parking garage of the complex back in November 2016, when their car came close to a woman who was walking nearby as they left the complex.

The woman and Morales’ girlfriend began arguing. As the victim walked away from the car, Morales pulled out a gun and fired it at least twice, hitting her once in the back of the leg. Morales and his girlfriend then drove off.

The victim survived the shooting.

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene and witnesses described the car as well as the shooter. Deputies were able to track down the car, a Dodge Challenger, within a couple of minutes, driving on Vanderbilt Beach Road. Morales was quickly arrested.

Shell casings found at the scene matched those found in the car and a firearm was found in a bush just outside the exit of the parking garage. The gun contained the same bullets used in the shooting.

The plea agreement allows the victim to avoid having to testify at trial.

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