LARGO — Police detectives say the person described as a “good Samaritan” was defending himself when he shot a pedestrian in the leg the night of April 7.
Largo police spent the week investigating the incident that began with a call about a hit-and-run crash in the 11000 block on Walsingham Road.
A witness told police that the pedestrian, identified as Michael E. Girardin, 63, became angry after he and the good Samaritan started following him after they found the man down in the road about 8 p.m.
They had assumed that a car had hit Girardin. They wanted the man to stay for medical assistance. Instead, Girardin gathered his belongings and started walking away. Police say Girardin repeatedly told the two men to leave him alone.
According to the witness, Girardin turned toward them, produced a box cutter and then charged at them in a threatening manner. The good Samaritan then fired one round from his handgun, striking Girardin in the upper left leg.
The witness had been standing next to the good Samaritan, who he did not know. He told police he was in fear for his life.
After the shooting, the good Samaritan applied a belt on Girardin’s leg to act as a tourniquet until Largo Fire Rescue arrived.
Detectives have scheduled a non-arrest investigation with the Pinellas/Pasco State Attorney's Office for the charge of aggravated assault against Girardin, who remains in the hospital with a non-life threatening injury.
Police say the good Samaritan, as the victim of the aggravated assault, is not being named because he requested confidentiality per Marsy's Law. The good Samaritan possesses a valid Florida Concealed Weapons Permit.
Largo police is asking that anyone with information about a white SUV, possibly a Jeep or Kia, that may have been involved in the initial crash call the Communications Center at 727-587-6730.