Sunday, Charlotte County deputies arrested John Esquerre, 55, after being accused of shooting another man multiple times before hitting him with a truck.
Deputies say the incident happened in the area of Espanol and East Twin Lakes Drive in Punta Gorda around 7:15 p.m.
Once on scene, deputies found the victim with two gunshot wounds to his leg. His name was withheld by law enforcement citing Marsy’s Law.
“While we were watching TV, and we heard the gunshots” Karen Baker said. “There was like three to five gunshots. I mean, they were loud. We could tell it was close.”
After speaking with those involved, deputies say both parties are residents of Cape Coral and that the dispute began over the victim allegedly stealing $1,200 and being in possession of a company vehicle. The dispute began in Cape Coral, escalated throughout the day and concluded on Catalina Drive, which has no ties to either party.
“I’m glad it wasn’t anyone around here,” Baker said. “I’m glad it wasn’t, you know, any of the neighbors. At least, you feel a little more comfortable.”
CCSO said, once face-to-face, the suspect threatened the victim with a large knife before getting a firearm out of his truck and firing several times, striking the victim twice in the leg.
“I was figuring somebody got killed,” Baker said. “When all the police cars were there, it was really obvious that something serious — it wasn’t just somebody out shooting a gun.”
After being struck, the victim tried to run away and was seen by a witness being hit multiple times by Esquerre in a silver truck.
Both parties were taken to the hospital. The victim suffered injuries during the altercation and the suspect was being treated for unrelated issues.
Esquerre faces charges for aggravated battery with a firearm and discharging a firearm causing great bodily harm.
There is no booking mugshot for Esquerre available at this time.