Man accused of shooting 80-year-old during Leesburg carjacking

Desmond Smith arrested in connection with carjacking

LEESBURG, Fla. – An 80-year-old man was shot Monday morning after refusing to hand over his keys to an unknown man, according to the Leesburg Police Department.

Police said Richard L. Martens was in a Save-A-Lot parking lot in the Southside Shopping Center when a man, later identified as Desmond Smith, approached him and demanded his keys. When Martens refused to hand over his keys, Smith shot him in the upper leg, then ran away, according to authorities.

"It was a big, big, loud bang. It scared me to death and I was like, 'Who is shooting at me?'" witness Cynthia Barton said.

Martens  was taken to Ocala Regional Medical Center. He was released Monday afternoon and is recovering at home.

Smith, 31, was arrested on several charges, including carjacking, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Richard L. Martens.
Richard L. Martens.

Police warned others to always comply with a culprit's demands. 

"It could have been possibly avoided had the victim just surrendered the keys. That’s generally something we’d ask anyone to do," Leesburg police Capt. Joe Iozzi said.

[LISTEN BELOW: Witness calls 911 after shooting]

Check back for more updates on this developing story.