South Florida police said they would not charge a neighbor for shooting at a car used by a grocery delivery guy that ended up at the wrong address.
Officials in Davie, a town about 26 miles north of Miami, announced Friday that no charges were recommended against gunman Antonio Caccavale, 43, because his actions were justified by his fear.
Likewise, police say, the Instacart driver will not be charged because he acted on their own risk assessment when the vehicle, which was moving erratically, struck a boulder and the shooter’s foot.
Investigators said they had no video of the incident and therefore had to rely on each side’s narrative, each with its own chronology and facts.
“Each party appears justified in their actions based on the circumstances they perceived,” Detective Patrick Di Cintio said in an addendum to the police report on the matter.
It wasn’t clear if the detective concluded that the shooting was warranted because of Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law, the first in the nation, which says residents are under no obligation to retreat before using potentially deadly force to defend life, family, and property.
The police report said that on the evening of April 15, driver Waldes Thomas Jr. and his companion Diamond Harley D’arville attempted to deliver groceries and spoke to the customer’s wife on a cellphone for help navigating, when the incident happened.
After the Honda Civic pulled up at Caccavale’s property next to the delivery destination, the home of Instacart customer Daniel Orta, Caccavale’s son came out at his father’s behest to tell the couple in the car to stay away from the property should, according to the report.
It’s not entirely clear what happened next and in what order, but the driver and his companion said Caccavale aggressively approached them and they hastily exited, according to the document. The duo said Caccavale grabbed or otherwise held the vehicle while driving, the report said.
According to the police report, Caccavale’s foot was struck by the Civic, and Caccavale said he then opened fire to prevent further injury and to protect his family from the vehicle.
The resident said he aimed his Smith & Wesson semi-automatic pistol at the vehicle’s tires to disable them as a threat, the report said.
“He said he fired three shots at the vehicle after the vehicle struck him,” the police report said. “He stated that he fired his gun at the vehicle because he feared for his safety and that of his children.”
The Civic exited the property and officers found it stopped a few blocks away on railroad tracks, the report said. There was evidence of a round impact on the car and one tire was flat, sources said.
Thomas and D’arville were visibly shaken, police said, but were otherwise unharmed. The extent of Caccavale’s foot injuries was not specified by police.
The duo said they only heard gunshots after they tried to leave the house as a result of what they described as aggressive behavior from neighbor Caccavale.
“I saw him pull a gun and I said, ‘We have to go, we have to go,'” D’arville said. “I was afraid I won’t lie.”
Someone at Caccavale’s phone number hung up when contacted by NBC South Florida.
Instacart said in a statement it had reached out to Thomas and would work with investigators if requested.
“The safety of the entire Instacart community is incredibly important to us, and we take immediate action when we receive reports of violence or threats of violence against any member of the Instacart community,” it said.
The San Francisco-based company, founded in 2012 and bolstered by venture capital investments, helped establish a modern grocery delivery service that connects gig economy drivers with online customers, similar to Uber’s platform that connects drivers with passengers.
Broward County District Attorney Harold Pryor told NBC South Florida he had requested a review of the case and the Davie Police Department’s conclusion that charges were unfounded.
On April 13, a teen mistook a very similar address in Kansas City, Missouri, for where he was supposed to pick up siblings, police said. An elderly white resident charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal activity opened fire, injuring the black teenager.
More cases of shooting over wrong locations, roads and vehicles have surfaced in the wake of the Missouri shooting of teenager Ralph Yarl and have helped renew the national conversation about guns and equal justice.
Courtney Brogle And Juliette Arcodia contributed.