Monday, April 23, 2018
Public safety

Spring Hill man caught in gunfire after home invasion robbery, confrontation

SPRING HILL — Brian Hock is accustomed to the sound of squealing tires near his home on Statler Avenue. Obnoxious drivers are not unusual in the otherwise quiet neighborhood.

But as Hock worked in his driveway Monday night to plug his pickup's leaky tire, he heard squeals and looked up to see two cars stop in the street.

Then he saw a gun appear in the driver's-side window of the dark-colored sedan in front.

"I saw three flashes from the muzzle, and that's when I decided to take cover," Hock, 44, told the Times on Wednesday.

The shooter is a suspect in a home invasion robbery committed earlier that night about 3 miles away, the Hernando Sheriff's Office said.

A news release gave this account:

Deputies were called about 9:20 p.m. to 332 Cresthaven Court in the Spring Haven Apartment complex on Mariner Boulevard near Quality Drive. A male victim, whom the Sheriff's Office did not identify, reported that a man had barged into his apartment, pointed a gun at him and demanded money.

The suspect fled with cash. The man looked outside and saw a dark-colored vehicle leaving the parking lot and decided to follow it. Several minutes later, he saw the vehicle in the area of Statler Avenue and stopped behind it.

The man told deputies that someone in the vehicle started shooting, hitting his vehicle several times before driving away again. The man followed until his vehicle became disabled.

The suspect's vehicle was last seen in the area of Chadwick Avenue and Landover Boulevard in Spring Hill.

The Sheriff's Office did not release additional information, citing an open investigation.

No one was injured, but it was a close call for Hock. One of the bullets pierced the rear door of his wife's car, about 2 feet away from where he had been working on his truck's tire.

Two more rounds hit his house, and two struck his neighbor's house, Hock said.

"My wife came out in hysterics," he said. "I told her to get back inside and call 911 and stay down low."

Hock said the shooting made him more angry than scared. He'd been considering a concealed weapon permit.

"It's kind of moved up on my priority list," he said.

Reach Tony Marrero at [email protected] or (352) 848-1431. Follow @tmarrerotimes and @hernandotimes on Twitter.

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