WFLA – A 25-year-old man was charged early Friday with shooting another man with a pellet gun in the parking lot of a Lutz, Florida Walmart in what deputies have described as a hate crime.
Daniel P. Quinnell is charged with aggravated battery in the Wednesday shooting. Deputies received a tip after releasing a video that shows Quinnell approaching a black man and white woman in the parking lot and firing at least 20 shots in close range from the pellet gun, deputies said.
The suspect asked if the man was from the Middle East and if he was Muslim. After the victim answered “no” to both questions, the suspect called the man a racial slur and made a reference to him being with a “white girl.”
The suspect then pulled a pellet gun from his pocket and fired at least 20 shots at the couple. Even as the suspect left the couple, he aimed the handgun-style weapon at the couple and fired.
The 24-year-old male victim, whose identity was not released by the sheriff’s office, was treated at the scene. He will have pellets, one which remains lodged in his neck and another in his head,surgically removed Monday, said Pasco County Sheriff’s Office Detective Lisa Schoneman.
His 25-year-old girlfriend was not injured.
The man told detectives he thought he was going to die.
“The victim said to me, he said, ‘I thought that was it,'” Schoneman said. “He said ‘I thought I was dead, my life was over and this was all it was going to be.'”