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Suspect claims self-defense in downtown DeLand shooting, police say

Man accused of shooting victim who was arguing with woman

DeLAND, Fla. – The suspect in a downtown DeLand shooting that took place Sunday morning claims he shot the victim in self-defense although the DeLand Police Department says his story is inconsistent.

Police said they were called to a parking lot on Georgia Avenue around 1:30 a.m. and found Charles Muise, 29, applying first aid to a man he had just shot.

Muise told officers he had been out at a bar with friends and as they were preparing to leave, he saw the victim arguing with a woman and decided to intervene by telling the man, "You're not going to talk to her like that," according to the report.

Police said Muise claimed the victim was choking and hitting his girlfriend, but the victim's girlfriend said that wasn't true and she had no physical injuries.

Muise said he got his shotgun from the back of his truck when the victim began approaching him, the affidavit said.

Police said Muise warned the victim to step back, at which time the victim said, "What are you going to do, shoot me?" then took another step forward and Muise pulled the trigger, striking the victim in the left side.

Muise got a first aid kit from his truck and tended to the victim's wound until first responders arrived, according to authorities.

Police said Muise repeatedly told them he shot the victim in self-defense but couldn't provide information about why he was in fear for his life. He also denied consuming any alcohol, but he was swaying, burping and had glassy eyes, according to the affidavit.

Muise is facing a charge of aggravated battery using a deadly weapon.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story attributed information to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office. The story has been updated with facts provided by the DeLand Police Department.


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