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Victim shoots person of interest in attempted robbery

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An 81-year-old Ocala man said he didn’t want to fire his gun but had to when a younger man trailed his truck.

James Stevens told Marion County Sheriff’s Office he was driving in Ocala when 28-year-old Lonnie Hollingsworth Jr. followed him for about 20 minutes. Stevens then pulled over into a vacant lot across from his home.

Hollingsworth “came up to him and said, ‘Give me everything you’ve got,’” said James Pogue, Marion County Sheriff’s Office spokesman.

Stevens then took out his .38-caliber revolver and shot Hollingsworth one time in the abdomen.

Michelle Barron, of Ocala, was pulling into her brother’s driveway next door when Stevens came running toward her.

Barron said Stevens asked her to call 911 “because he had just shot a fellow who tried to rob him.”

“He looked very shaken up to me,” she said. “He was holding his head down and his voice was trembling.”

When deputies got to the scene, they performed CPR until medical personnel arrived, Pogue said. Hollingsworth was taken to Ocala Regional Medical Center and was said to be in critical condition as of 10 a.m. Tuesday.

The case is still under investigation. No charges have been filed against Stevens or Hollingsworth at this time, Pogue said.

According to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office report, the incident was reported as an attempted strong arm robbery. Pogue could not say whether the state’s “stand your ground” defense applies to Stevens.

“The detectives in the case will take that into consideration as they work with the state’s attorney office,” Pogue said.

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Carolyn Brewster reported for WUFT-TV.



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