[PHOTO CREDIT: Lake County Sheriff’s Office]
[Original Publish Date: 05/13/20]
EUSTIS, Florida — A man is facing a charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon after accidentally shooting his friend earlier this month.
On May 3, Eustis Police responded to an apartment on Grove Street and found a man who had been shot; also present was his friend Paul Ferguson Jr. The victim was airlifted to Orlando Regional Medical Center while police questioned Ferguson, according to an arrest affidavit. Ferguson told police his longtime friend came over to his apartment with a handgun and asked Ferguson to time how long it took him to take the gun apart and put it back together. After he finished, he gave the gun to Ferguson and suggested he try, the affidavit states.
The victim instructed Ferguson on how to take the gun apart and told him to “pull the side tabs while simultaneously pulling the trigger in order to release the slide from the frame,” the affidavit states, and when Ferguson pulled the trigger, the gun fired, striking his friend.
Ferguson, 28, admitted to police he was a convicted felon and a search of his criminal history found that he in fact has four felony convictions, according to the affidavit. Police spoke to the victim’s mother. She said that her son told her he was shot accidentally, and she also stated that her son is a gun enthusiast who is known to try techniques to disassemble a firearm quickly. The victim is expected to make a full recovery.
“All evidence located on scene was consistent with [Ferguson’s] description of events. [Ferguson] remained completely cooperative throughout my investigation, seemingly genuinely concerned for [the victim’s] well-being,” the arresting officer noted in the affidavit.
The case was turned over to the Criminal Investigations Division and Ferguson was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon on May 8, said Eustis Police Cpl. Lauren Brown. Ferguson turned himself in and he was released from the Lake County Jail on $10,000 bond.
Our Editor-in-Chief, Marilyn M. Aciego, began writing for Lake Legal News in 2010. Born and raised in Lake County, she is a graduate of Umatilla High School and Lake-Sumter State College. She started her journalism career at LSSC, where she was editor of both student publications, The Angler and The Odyssey. Her professional career began at the Daily Commercial in 2004 where she covered cops and courts the majority of her time there until she left in 2009. Currently, along with being Editor-in-Chief of Lake Legal News, she is the Florida bureau chief for an international media organization. She has made more than two dozen appearances on live national television, including Nancy Grace and the Greta Van Susteren show, along with her appearance on Evil Twins. Contact her with breaking news, tips, and feedback by sending an e-mail to 352Tips@gmail.com. You can also contact us on our Facebook page — and make sure you “Like” and “Follow us” there. [PHOTO CREDIT: Bonnie Whicher]