A dispute over the theft of a bracelet may have led to the shooting of a man at a Spring Hill shopping plaza Thursday evening.
Fernando Koehler, 16, of 7216 Fair Oaks St. in Spring Hill is accused of shooting Brian Behling, 20, of 3082 Waterfall Drive about 5 p.m. Thursday in the parking lot at Seven Hills Plaza, at Spring Hill Drive and Mariner Boulevard.
On Friday, Behling said Koehler and "one of his buddies" flagged him down about three months ago while he was driving to his girlfriend's house and stole his bracelet.
Behling said he saw Koehler in the parking lot of the shopping plaza Thursday and confronted him.
"I just wanted to ask him about the bracelet," Behling said.
Koehler was charged with attempted murder, carrying a concealed weapon, fleeing and eluding, and reckless driving in connection with the shooting and an ensuing chase.
Behling suffered superficial wounds to his left leg above the knee. He was listed in stable condition Friday evening at Columbia Regional Medical Center, Oak Hill. He would not answer further questions about the confrontation.
The shooting was one of two incidents in which Koehler was involved Thursday, sheriff's officials said.
Koehler fled into a wooded area and eluded deputies earlier in the day after he fired shots at a car, authorities said. As of Friday, he had not been charged in that incident. No one was injured.
Koehler was taken to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office and then sent to the state juvenile detention center in Ocala, where he was being held Friday evening.
According to a sheriff's report, a black Ford Explorer and a 1996 Honda Prelude driven by Koehler's girlfriend, Faith Impellizzieri, 16, sped through the parking lot of the shopping center before Behling was shot.
In a driveway leading from the plaza to Spring Hill Drive, the two cars stopped next to each other. Behling, a passenger in the Ford, jumped out of the vehicle; Koehler got out of the Honda.
The two walked toward each other and appeared to argue, witnesses said.
Koehler pulled a handgun, aimed at Behling, and fired three times, according to the sheriff's report. Behling, hit in the left leg, limped back to the Ford.
Both vehicles then sped away. Behling went to the hospital.
Deputies said they spotted Koehler's car just before 6 p.m., and about 10 patrol cars chased the Honda on residential streets through Spring Hill. Koehler apparently hit the brakes at Deltona Boulevard and Norbert Street, and the car spun. One of the sheriff's cruisers then collided with it.
Koehler, carrying a dark blue or black bag holding a handgun, ran behind a house, authorities said, where three deputies tackled him.
Impellizzieri said she did not know what led to the shooting, adding that she was "kind of surprised" by it.
"I don't really know anything about why it happened," she said.
In the earlier incident, about 1 a.m. Thursday, authorities said, Koehler showed off a black .38-caliber revolver to a crowd of people at Hunter's Lake in Spring Hill before leaving with several other people in four vehicles, driving east on Spring Hill Drive. The vehicles then stopped at a red light at Mariner Boulevard, with Koehler riding in the lead vehicle, a tan, 1987 Ford Escort, and the other three other vehicles lined up behind it.
When the light turned green, the Escort did not move, so the driver of the second car sounded his horn, apparently upsetting Koehler, the sheriff's report said.
All four vehicles continued east on Spring Hill Drive, but the Escort pulled to the side of the road at Spring Hill Drive and Fentress Court, near Veterans Memorial Park.
Koehler then got out and shouted at the vehicles behind him. The first two vehicles passed Koehler without incident.
As the third vehicle, a black Ford Thunderbird with three passengers, passed, Koehler ran toward it with the revolver and fired three shots in the direction of the car, the report said.
All three passengers said they feared for their lives, according to the sheriff's report.
Deputies later spotted the Escort and pulled it over, but they said Koehler and another man escaped and ran into a woods.