Fruit vendor grateful after customer shoots gunman
HIALEAH, Fla. (WSVN) -- A South Florida fruit vendor is speaking out with words of gratitude for a customer who stepped in after someone tried to mug him.
Blood stains and crime scene tape remain on the sidewalk marking the spot of the near-fatal confrontation that occurred Tuesday afternoon. According to Hialeah Police, a customer stepped up and shot a teenager who tried to hold up the fruit peddler, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
According to Hialeah Police, at around 12:45 p.m., 19-year-old Jason Arnoldo Bonilla walked up to the fruit vendor, who parked his truck in the area of West 72nd Street and 30th Avenue to sell fruit, pointed a gun at him and demanded cash. "When he sees I won't give him the money, that's when he cocks the gun," the vendor said, speaking through a translator.
When a regular customer at the stand saw Bonilla cock his gun, he decided to act, shooting him several times. "He started looking for his gun after he was shot," said the vendor.
"We have one male that approached a fruit vendor and produced a firearm and asked for money," said Hialeah Police Detective Eddie Rodriguez. "That's when a third person at the scene produced his own firearm, shooting the subject."
The man who stepped in is a friend of the street vendor and has a concealed weapons permit. The vendor said he would have been killed had his friend not been there.
According to witnesses on the scene, about half a dozen shots were fired. "All of a sudden, you just hear pop noises," said Marianny Briseno, "and she was like, 'Oh, they shot someone.' I was like, 'No, you're kidding' because I've never heard shot noises, so we look out, and we see this scene with all these police officers."
Witnesses said the would-be robber was struck in the face. Miami-Dade Air Rescue landed in a nearby field and transported the wounded man to Jackson Memorial Hospital. He survived the shooting and remains at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Police plan to charge Bonilla with attempted armed robbery once he is released from the hospital. They will not charge the shooter, however, as they called his actions self defense, and he has a permit.
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