A person and dog sitting in a car together were victims of a shooting that took place near the Publix supermarket in Spring Hill on Mariner and County Line Rd.
Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis said that just before 10:15 a.m. on June 14, deputies from the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) responded to a report about a shooting near the Publix store at 160 Mariner Blvd.
According to preliminary information, Nienhuis said that an incident occurred possibly in Pasco County involving the suspected shooter and another person.
Pasco Sheriff’s deputies advised that during the altercation, the suspect, Randall Lynn Gerding Jr. DOB/04-29-1971, was armed with a firearm. It is believed the suspect did not discharge the firearm during said altercation.
Gerding then drove to Hernando County and committed a residential burglary according to police.
The suspected shooter arrived behind the supermarket, interacted with a family member, and engaged in a confrontation involving cash or other valuables.
“In the course of that altercation, a totally innocent and unrelated bystander was nearby in a vehicle and that person’s dog barked which caught the attention of the suspected shooter,” Niehuis said. “The suspected shooter went over to that vehicle and ended up shooting the dog and the person in that vehicle.”
After that incident, Gerding briefly left the scene and arriving deputies tended to the shooting victims.
The dog was taken to an emergency veterinary facility and the person to a nearby trauma facility for treatment.
Deputies were also able to apprehend Gerding and take him into custody after he returned to the scene.
HCSO continues to investigate the incident.