Friday, June 22, 2018
Public safety

Pinellas man mistakes teen for intruder and shoots him, authorities say

SEMINOLE — A teenager entering his house near midnight Sunday was shot in the arm by his uncle, who apparently thought the youth was an intruder, authorities said Monday.

Taylor Titus, 17, was listed in stable condition at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg with non-life-threatening injuries, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said.

His uncle, James H. Wolf, 55, was booked into Pinellas County Jail on a charge of possession of a firearm by a felon. Detectives gave this account:

Titus, who lived with his aunt and uncle, had left their home about 9 p.m. Sunday without telling them. The lights were off when he returned just before midnight. Wolf, who was "preparing to go to sleep,'' heard a noise in the back of the house, grabbed his handgun, saw someone near the back door and ordered him to freeze.

When that person walked forward, Wolf fired one shot, hitting him in the bicep. Only then did Wolf realize that he had shot his nephew, detectives said.

Wolf was not arrested for the shooting, but for possessing the gun. In 1994, he was found guilty of a sexual offense involving children in California. He was a registered sex offender in Florida and had been complying with those requirements, the Sheriff's Office said. But as a felon, he is not allowed to possess a firearm.

Times researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report

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