Jury finds Paul Smith not guilty in Warlocks gang shooting trial

Paul Smith was accused of firing first shots in Winter Springs gunfight

Paul Smith.
Paul Smith.

SANFORD, Fla. – A jury found a man not guilty Tuesday afternoon in a Warlocks gang shooting in Seminole County.

Investigators said Paul Smith was at a charity motorcycle ride at the Winter Springs Veterans of Foreign Wars post in 2012 when his former gang, the Warlocks, showed up.

Officials said Smith started shooting, leading to a gunfight in which three people were killed.

Smith said he shot in self-defense.

Smith took the stand on Tuesday describing the fear he had several days before the charity event because he worried many of his former Warlock gang members would show up to the event and "shut it down."

He then talked about the moments before he fired the first shot, which started a wave of gunfire.

"When he stepped off, that's when I pulled my gun out and shot him," Smith said. "I realized he wasn't coming after me with his bike, he was coming after me himself."

Smith was cross-examined by prosecutors, who accused him of lying about what he told police, by showing more than 10 weapons he had on him other than the gun during the time of the shooting. He had a meat hook, several knives and a saw.

Smith was charged with three counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder.

A jury found Smith not guilty after they began deliberating Tuesday.

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