Meet Cameron Mohammed, 24, of Tampa, Florida.
Around 3a.m., Wednesday morning, January 2nd, Mohammed and his girlfriend (name withheld) had just parked their car and was headed into the local Lutz, Florida, Walmart to grab a bite to eat.
As he and his girlfriend approached the the entrance, Mohammed was confronted by Daniel Quinnell, 25, in the Walmart parking lot.
Quinnell walked over to Mohammed and asked him if he was Muslim or from the Middle East. Mohammed said no and kept walking.
Quinnell then walked up behind Mohammed and shot him at close range with a gas-propelled pellet gun while saying “nigger with a white girl.”
Mohammed stood there in the Walmart parking lot, blood spouting from his head and neck, with his hand on his gun…
But he never pulled his .45-caliber Taurus pistol out of its holster to defend himself.
Though he could have.
Florida’s notorious ‘Stand Your Ground’ law applies perfectly in this situation, and Mohammed had many opportunities to enforce that law.
He could have done so when Quinnell pointed his gun at point-blank range and squeezed the trigger for the first of 20 times. Or even before the attack, when Quinnell approached Mohammed and his girlfriend from behind, yelling racial epithets. Any of those instances would have been defensible in court.
But Mohammed, 24, kept his gun in the holster. Because his attacker used a pellet gun. Mohammed’s was real.
“I don’t know. I just couldn’t do it,” Mohammed said, recovering at his Tampa home two days after the attack. “I couldn’t blow this guy away for something he could change later in life. I’m not going to decide this man’s fate.”
Investigators had released surveillance video of the shooting and photographs of the suspect to the media Thursday.
Pasco County sheriff’s detectives arrested Daniel Quinnell, late Thursday.
Minutes after the video was broadcast on TV, Detective Lisa Schoneman’s phone lit up with tips. One of the callers was Quinnell’s mother. She led them to Quinnell’s hotel room in the Comfort Inn off of State Road 54 in Land O’Lakes.
He was booked into the Land O’Lakes jail on a charge of aggravated assault and $20,000 bail. Investigators on Friday said they have evidence to classify the case as a hate crime, elevating the charge to a first-degree felony.
Court records state Quinnell married Lana Ladell Fiongos, a woman 20 years his senior, in March 2010 in Dade City. Since then, he was arrested two times on charges of domestic battery and twice on charges of violating domestic violence injunctions. When arrested Thursday, Quinnell was on felony probation for battery on a person aged 65 or older, according to Jo Ellyn Rackleff, spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Corrections.
As a felon, Quinnell was banned from carrying firearms. That’s why, he told deputies Thursday night, he carried the pellet gun instead. He told them he burned the gun after the shooting.
When deputies told him his victim wasn’t Muslim, he told them he didn’t care, that “they’re all the same,” Schoneman told reporters.
Cameron Mohammed isn’t Muslim or Middle Eastern. (not that it matters) His parents are from Trinidad. He was born and raised in Tampa. Raised Catholic. He has had a concealed weapons permit for five years.
Friday afternoon, in the living room of the family’s West Tampa home, he described the shooting. He wore the same black hooded jacket he was wearing when he was shot and pointed out the blood spots dried between the fibers.
On Monday, he is scheduled to have the pellets — one embedded in his forehead over his left eyebrow, the other just under his jaw — removed. He can’t look upward without a sharp pain over his left eye.
Mohammed showed a lot of strong will in this dire situation.
But I have to ask:
Read more here.