A 28-year-old Florida man has been arrested for allegedly targeting and shooting two people in a moving van – causing the vehicle to overturn and crash – and also for “firing a missile” into the truck while both occupants were still inside. Julian Mendes-Wolf was taken into custody on Monday and charged with two counts of attempted first degree premeditated murder with a firearm as well as one count of “firing a missile at an occupied vehicle”, authorities announced.
According to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, around 11 p.m. Thursday, June 1, Mendes-Wolf was “involved in a shooting” on Immokalee Road near Twin Eagles Boulevard. Investigators say Mendes-Wolf “specifically targeted” the two victims who were both shot while inside a black pickup truck.
Mendes-Wolf is currently being held in the Collier County Jail. Records show bail is being held on the attempted murder charges while his bond for firing a missile at an occupied vehicle was set at $250,000.
After Mendes-Wolf began shooting at the two occupants, the truck “tipped over and crashed,” Sheriff Kevin Rambosk said in a Facebook Live video, calling the incident an “act of violence outrageous” which was “insane and deliberate”.
According to an incident report obtained by the Naples Daily News, deputies responding to the scene of the crash initially believed the two injured people had been involved in a single-vehicle accident. However, the sheriff’s office said first responders later realized the two victims both suffered gunshot wounds.
The overturned car reportedly left the victims trapped inside the vehicle and the two were only pulled out after rescue teams used seat belt cutters to free them. They were both airlifted to Gulf Coast Medical Center in Fort Meyers.
During the ensuing investigation, authorities released a photograph on June 8 showing the back of the truck the victims were driving when they were shot in the hope the photo would generate new leads leading to an arrest. . Authorities also offered a $3,000 reward for information leading to the shooter’s arrest.
A GoFundMe page set up to raise money on behalf of the shooting victims identifies them as Amy Chesser and Scotty McCandless. The Page, which has raised just over $18,000 of its $25,000 goal, says they both suffered “devastating life-threatening injuries in a traumatic incident on June 1.”
“While much remains unknown about the events that led to their injuries, it is certain that both suffered traumatic brain injury that will likely affect them for the rest of their lives,” the page reads. “A very long and difficult road to recovery awaits us. Both Amy and Scotty were airlifted to a trauma hospital where they continue to fight for the miraculous healings we all pray for.
The sheriff’s office did not immediately respond to a message from Law&Crime asking for additional details about the weapon and ammunition investigators were referring to when they say Mendes-Wolf fired a ‘missile’ at the vehicle being driven by the victims.
The arrest warrant issued against him states that he “unlawfully, wantonly or maliciously fired a bullet or projectile with a firearm at, into or into a vehicle”.
Mendes-Wolf has an arraignment scheduled for July 17. He has not yet entered a plea and it is unclear whether he has retained an attorney.
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