[PHOTO CREDITS: Lake County Sheriff’s Office]
[Original Publish Date: 01/15/20]
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ASTATULA, Florida — A Leesburg man who threatened to shoot up his victim’s house for several weeks followed through on his threat Thursday night — the same the day victim attended his daughter’s funeral.
According to an arrest affidavit, Groveland Police were investigating the theft of a 2007 Toyota Scion and Bobby Lynn Russell, 25, was named a suspect. About 10 minutes later, the Lake County Communications Center received a report of a drive-by shooting in Astatula and again, Russell was named a suspect.
The victim told a deputy Russell had been harassing his son for weeks and threatening to shoot up the victim’s home. While visiting with family after his daughter’s funeral the victim heard five to six gunshots outside. The victim stepped outside and a witness told him a black vehicle drove by and a man she believed to be Russell started shooting, the affidavit states.
A deputy did not find any bullet holes in the home, but did find a .380 Hornday shell casing in the road in front of the home. No one was injured.
Believing the Scion was involved in the shooting, various law enforcement officers began searching the area for the Scion when it was spotted shortly before midnight Friday on State Road 19, south of Howey-in-the-Hills. The Scion was traveling northbound when a deputy got behind it and followed it down Dewey Robbins Road and watched it conduct a U-turn in a driveway. The Scion continued northbound through Howey-in-the-Hills and fled when deputies activated their emergency lights.
The Scion sped down State Road 19, almost hitting a deputy and several Tavares Police officers “while driving extremely recklessly,’ the affidavit states. As the Scion approached County Road 561, it made an abrupt turn into a gas station, drove through the parking lot, attempted to get back onto County Road 561 and crashed into a wooded area. Russell exited the Scion with his hands up and was taken into custody. Deputies searched the car and found a stolen Taurus .380 handgun that was loaded and chambered. It was loaded with .380 Hornday self defense rounds — the same ammunition found at the scene of the drive-by shooting.
Russell is charged with shooting a missile at an unoccupied dwelling, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, no driver license, fleeing and eluding with wanton disregard and grand theft of a firearm. He is being held at the Lake County Jail on $96,000 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]