VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — A Florida man is facing an attempted murder charge after investigators say he attacked his landlord with a hatchet before shooting him in the face.
The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said that Fredie Vale, who lives in a barn apartment on the victim’s property, attacked his landlord shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday. Deputies said Vale approached the 77-year-old man with the hatchet, which he handed to the victim, before suddenly grabbing it back and threatening the victim while swinging the weapon, which caused the victim to back up and fall.
The victim told deputies that Vale jumped on top of him and tried to hit him with the hatchet, but the victim was able to dodge, kick and block to get away.
Deputies told WFLA that Vale eventually got off the victim, and then went to his apartment before coming back with a pistol, which he pointed at the victim twice before firing a single shot that hit the victim in the side of the face.
The victim ran inside and told his wife what happened, and they called police. Deputies said the victim was treated for non-life-threatening injuries at a central Florida hospital.
Deputies said they found Vale three hours later at a Walmart in Deltona, where he was arrested and charged with attempted first-degree murder.
The victim told detectives that he had a good relationship with Vale, who is not only his tenant, but also his employee, saying “The couple allowed Vale to move in about two years ago because he was down on his luck.”
Vale is being held without bail, WFLA reported.
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