LEESBURG, Fla. – An 80-year-old man shot Monday morning in an attempted carjacking is now recovering at home after spending time at the hospital.
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.
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When Martens refused to hand over his keys, Smith shot him in the upper leg and then ran away, according to authorities.
"He said, 'Give me your keys. I’m going to take your car, and if you don’t give it to me, I’m going to shoot you,' and that’s right. He shot me," Martens said.
Martens told News 6 he's thankful to be alive and he's happy things were not worse.
"He backed up a little bit and he shot me," Martens said.
Martens said he's grateful for the good Samaritans who heard the gunfire and rushed over to help. He said he hopes the suspect will stay in jail.
"I’d like to get ahold of that gun and shoot him in the leg and see what that felt like," Martens said.
Police found Smith hours after the shooting at a home on Colonial Street. Investigators said Smith fought them during the arrest.
News 6 learned Smith has been arrested before on various charges, including child abuse, battery and domestic violence, among others. Records show he's also a convicted felon from a domestic battery by strangulation arrest in 2012. As a convicted felon, Smith should not have been in possession of a handgun.
Martens told News 6 he does not have any regrets.
"I still wouldn’t have given him the car. No, I'm a stubborn German," Martens said.
Leesburg police said, generally speaking, in most situations, it’s a good idea to comply with an armed person attempting to commit a crime.
Smith remains in jail in Lake County.