A Florida man was convicted of a shocking act of violence committed while children were watching in 2019. The verdict was handed down late last week, according to the local state attorney’s office.
Bacilio Antemate Xolo, 43, was found guilty of one count of attempted murder in the second degree and four counts of child abuse on Friday, July 1, 2022, over the late-night shooting attack that sent a Fort Myers, Fla. apartment complex into chaos at the time.
On Nov. 4, 2019, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office responded to an apartment complex in the Harlem Heights neighborhood in response to reports of a shooting. There they found the victim, a woman who had been shot in the face. Deputies found her standing outside with her four children – and those same children watched it all unfold.
The local prosecutor’s office notes that “witnesses pointed to the defendant, and said he did it” as responding deputies gathered information; the defendant was said to have been standing nearby with “blood on his shoes.”
But Xolo might not have been nearby at all but for the actions of a Good Samaritan who asked to remain anonymous.
“I didn’t hear the gunshot go off exactly,” the unknown hero told Fort Myers, Fla. CBS affiliate WINK in November 2019. “I just heard a lot of commotion. Kids were running, so, first thing that came to mind was, you know, help. I grab my roommate, we follow the suspect and we tackled them down until the cops got here. My first initiative was to help, you know, the kids’ needs and then once we helped, we saw the mother was all bloody.”
After tackling the defendant, the man said he and his roommate realized that Xolo had a gun – but that he seemed otherwise normal and perhaps in a state of something not entirely unlike shock.
“Once we got him, he seemed perfectly fine,” the self-professed tackler told the TV station. “He was saying it was a mistake, it was an accident, but I’m looking at him like, no, that’s not an accident —like, like — come on bro, you just shot somebody. You’ve got, like, six kids right here in front of you.”
Law enforcement didn’t seem to think it was an accident either and moved to detain the suspect after hearing from witnesses.
“As he was being detained, he attempted to pull away from the deputies,” the local prosecutor’s office said.
Once in custody, prosecutors said Xolo admitted to the shooting.
“The defendant made a statement to detectives that he had been arguing with the victim prior to the shooting,” the 20th Judicial District’s State Attorney’s Office said in a statement provided to Law&Crime. “He then shot her in the cheek, in front of the children. He told detectives he then threw the gun in the water. Divers with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office were able to retrieve the weapon from the pond behind the apartment complex.”
According to the News-Press, Xolo was found guilty following a jury trial in front of Lee Circuit Judge Margaret O. Steinbeck.
The defendant is currently slated to be sentenced on Aug. 15, 2022. He faces over 15 years in prison.
Law&Crime has filed a public records request for additional documents and information on this case.
[image via Lee County Sheriff’s Office]
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