LAKELAND — No charges are expected to be filed against a man who fatally shot the father of his girlfriend’s son Thursday during a child custody exchange, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.
The dead man, 39-year-old Brian Ingram of Gainesville, had driven to pick up his son at the boyfriend’s home on Ewell Road, Judd said at a news conference Friday.
Ingram’s mother, Patricia Ingram, joined him for the exchange because Ingram is prohibited under a court injunction from approaching within 500 feet of the child’s mother, Judd said.
The boyfriend, who was not identified, told Patricia Ingram the child’s mother was at the grocery store and would be home soon. He said he did not feel comfortable handing over the boy, 2, until the mother returned.
Patricia Ingram relayed the information to her son and he called 911 to report that he was being denied access to his son, Judd said. Ingram was told to wait until deputies arrived.
Instead, as surveillance video from the home shows, Ingram ran up to the house, banged on the door, rang the doorbell repeatedly and covered the peephole. The boyfriend opened the door slightly, enabling Ingram to wedge his foot in and push, at one point slamming it into the boyfriend’s head.
“He’s screaming at him to leave,” Judd said. “'If you come in here, I’ll shoot you.'”
Ingram didn’t “follow directions very well, or rules very well,” Judd said.
At that point, the boyfriend opened fire, shooting Ingram five times with a handgun. Ingram turned and ran but collapsed in the yard.
The boyfriend had a right to protect himself in his home and is not expected to face charges, Judd said.
“That there was a forcible burglary and battery," Judd said, "when the guy banged the door off of his head, broke the door and was trying to get into his house.”
The boy was in a crib in another room and did not see the shooting, Judd said. The mother returned shortly after the shooting.
“It’s sad,” Judd said. “It should never have happened. But when you let your emotions take over, you can end up dead.”
Ingram was subject to a number of restrictions against approaching the Ewell Road property, Judd said, and his son had been banned from a daycare he once attended because the staff feared Ingram.
Ingram has faced criminal charges in the past, including two felonies and six misdemeanors in Suwanee and Alachua counties for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, battery, driving under the influence, possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana and resisting arrest.