BROOKSVILLE — The man with the bullet hole through his arm didn't want to say much to the Hernando sheriff's investigators who visited him at Brooksville Regional Hospital the night he was shot in late June.
Hkeem Lavar Hart, 18, of Brooksville said a man shot him during an altercation near the corner of Dr. M.L. King Jr. Boulevard and School Street, according to a Sheriff's Office arrest report.
Last Thursday, two months after the June 24 shooting, a detective contacted Hart again and showed him a pack of mug shots. Among them, Hart confirmed, was a photo of the man who shot him, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Later that day, deputies charged 20-year-old Algernard James of Brooksville with attempted second-degree murder.
James was already in jail. He had been arrested on Aug. 16 and charged with carrying a concealed weapon, records show.
In addition to attempted murder, James is charged with possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.
During his second interview with a detective, Hart said he had been reluctant to contact authorities to view photos of potential suspects because he worried about retaliation for cooperating with an investigation.
According to Hart's account, James fired one shot that struck Hart's left arm. Then, Hart said, James continued to pull the trigger as he pointed the chrome .38-caliber pistol at Hart's face. The gun didn't discharge, and Hart fled.
Authorities said there had been an ongoing dispute between Hart and James, though Hart would not provide details.
James has been arrested several times in Florida. In 2008, when he was still a juvenile, he pleaded no contest to possession of burglary tools, a felony. He has been convicted since 2010 of resisting arrest, battery, possession of marijuana and disrupting a school function, records show.
News researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report. Tony Marrero can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1431.