BARTOW, Fla. (FOX 13) - A gunman in a possible ‘Stand Your Ground’ case has turned himself in to Polk County detectives, officials announced Tuesday morning.
Investigators were searching for 28-year-old Joshua Pacheco, who, they say, shot and killed Julian Garcia following a bizarre series of events on Saturday night. They said Pacheco initially fled after the deadly shooting because he was “scared.” According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Pacheco is on probation and is a convicted felon.
On Saturday, 29-year-old Garcia was visiting family in Bartow, but was not getting along with his mother. His sister took him to the Citgo Food Market, located at 4660 Highway 17 North, to calm down. Investigators said surveillance video showed Garcia speaking to his sister in the parking lot, and then backing away.
“He sees Joshua Pacheco, who is now standing near the road, ostensibly waiting for a ride to pick him up,” explained Polk Sheriff Grady Judd during a Monday press conference.
Then, Garcia chased after Pacheco, and a scuffle started. After both men fell to the ground, Pacheco pulled out a gun and shot Garcia in the stomach. Detectives are unsure why Garcia became aggressive with Pacheco.
Pacheco fled after, but turned himself in on Tuesday. Judd said Pacheco is a felon and should not have been carrying a gun. Officials said he also removed his clothes and threw them into a dumpster after the shooting.
Pacheco gave the gun to detectives and was booked into jail for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, violating probation and tampering with physical evidence.
It’s unclear whether he will face charges for the deadly shooting. Evidence was forwarded to the State Attorney’s Office.