Firefighter accused of shooting man during block party
COOPER CITY, Fla. (AP) — A South Florida firefighter is facing an attempted murder charge after authorities say he fired a gun into a car and hit a man during a block party on Super Bowl Sunday.
Lorne Brown, 39, is a lieutenant with the Margate-Coconut Creek Fire Rescue Department and has worked for the agency for 15 years. He was arrested Thursday and charged with premeditated attempted first-degree murder.
He has been suspended with pay pending an investigation, according to Margate Police Department spokesman Sgt. Alain Banatt told the South Florida SunSentinel.
Brown and his neighbors were having a block party in their Cooper City neighborhood when a car driven by Simeon Brown drove onto the street, according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office. Another car followed it onto the street. Simeon Brown and Lorne Brown are not related.
The neighbors and the men in the cars started arguing. As Simeon Brown and his friend drove away, one of the neighbors kicked the car, sheriff’s officials said.
The cars drove away, but Simeon Brown and his friend returned in one vehicle. A sheriff’s report said Lorne Brown and his neighbors drew weapons and told the pair to get out of their car. That’s when shots were fired into the car, striking Simeon Brown in the arm.
A police report said Simeon Brown kept driving through the party, hit some cars and stopped in a yard. He was taken to a hospital by Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue.
Simeon Brown told the newspaper he had been driving his girlfriend home when he initially turned down the wrong street and encountered the block party.
He said doctors told him the bullet had shattered part of the bones in his left arm and that he had a bullet fragment lodged in his neck. Doctors operated on his arm and Monday and on Wednesday they removed the bullet fragment from his neck.
“I’m in a lot of pain, but I’m glad to be here, and I’m glad to be alive,” Simeon told the newspaper in a phone interview.
Lorne Brown faces charges of premeditated attempted first-degree murder, shooting into a vehicle and aggravated assault with a firearm.
During a brief court hearing Thursday afternoon, Brown’s initial court appearance was rescheduled for Friday afternoon at the request of his attorney.