Tenant swings hatchet at 77-year-old landlord, shoots him in the face, Florida cops say

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Matt Rourke/AP

A 77-year-old landlord stumbled through the door of his Florida home where his wife was cooking dinner on the evening of June 28.

He had been shot in the left cheek and quickly locked the doors.

Outside the window, a 47-year-old tenant, Fredie Vale sped away in a four-door sedan, the landlord told the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

Vale was arrested the same night and faces charge of attempted first-degree murder, according to a release from the sheriff’s office.

Vale lived in a barn apartment owned by the 77-year-old landlord in Enterprise, according to deputies. The landlord and tenant had a good relationship ever since the owner let Vale move in about two years ago when he was “down on his luck,” the release said.

Vale is accused of carrying a hatchet as he approached his landlord just before 6 p.m. Vale reportedly handed the hatchet to his landlord, but grabbed it back and caused the man to fall to the ground, according to the new release.

“The victim told deputies Vale then jumped on top of him and attempted to strike him with the hatchet,” deputies said. “The victim dodged, blocked and kicked Vale to get him to stop.”

Vale then walked to his apartment, where he retrieved a pistol and came back outside, according to the sheriff’s office. Then, Vale shot the landlord in the face, the release said.

Vale retreated to his apartment and the landlord rushed back to his home, according to the release, where he and his wife called police.

The victim was taken to the Central Florida Regional Hospital in Sanford and is in stable condition, according to the release.

After a three-hour search, deputies arrested Vale out front of a Walmart and he is being held with no bail, the release said.

Enterprise is about 29 miles northeast of Orlando.

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