Volusia County Dad Shoots Son

DEBARY, Florida --  The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a family quarrel in DeBary early Monday morning that resulted in the shooting of a 36-year-old man in the arm.  A couple told responding deputies that their adult son had attacked them and the father used a rifle to defend himself.  All three people involved were transported to Florida Hospital Fish Memorial in Orange City by EVAC ambulance to be treated for their non life-threatening injuries. Deputies say that the father isn’t expected to face any charges due to firing in self defense, but the son does face several charges.

Deputies were notified of the disturbance at 540 Bernasek Drive at about 2:17 a.m.  They arrived on scene to find the father, 61-year-old Dennis Smith, with multiple cuts and bruises on his arms, legs and face.  The son, Joshua Smith, had a gunshot wound to his left arm and the mother, 60-year-old Linda Smith, had a dislocated shoulder.

The father told deputies that he and his son were talking in the garage when an argument started.  The son got increasingly aggressive and eventually hit his dad in the face, knocking him down.  The mother then went to the garage to see what the commotion was about and the son turned on her.  He threw her to the ground, injuring her shoulder.  The father then grabbed a stick and started hitting his son with it in order to get the son away from his mother. Deputies say that gave the mother an opportunity to go back into the house and call for help.

As the fight continued in the garage, the son allegedly wrestled the stick away from his father and then started hitting him with it. The father was able to get away and he went to his bedroom to retrieve a rifle. He went to the kitchen and found his son there who then allegedly threatened him with a knife. In an attempt to keep his son away from him, the father said he fired four times at a wall, but one bullet struck his son.  The fight finally ended and deputies started arriving on scene.

The son faces charges of battery, aggravated assault and two counts of aggravated battery.  In addition to Monday’s charges, he was arrested on assault and battery charges that had been filed on Saturday following another altercation at the DeBary home between him and his father.  The son had fled the scene that day before deputies had arrived.  

The son will be transported to the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach when he’s release from the hospital.

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