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81-year-old Seminole man charged in shooting after run-in with neighbor

4:31 PM, Mar 28, 2013   |    comments
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Seminole, Florida -- An argument between neighbors in an upscale Seminole neighborhood ended in gunfire late Wednesday, and now the 81-year-old who pulled the trigger faces serious charges.

His 47 year-old shooting victim also faces a long recovery from a bullet that barely missed his heart.

So what started all the trouble at the gated Kapok Grand Community?

Donald Hindes, 81, certainly doesn't fit the profile of your typical aggravated assault suspect. But detectives say last night Hindes pointed a gun out his car window and shot his neighbor's ex-husband, 47-year-old Richard Wacker, in the chest.

Neighbor dispute ends in shooting

While the two men have had an ongoing dispute, investigators decided it was not a case of self defense.

"He basically indicated to the detectives when he spoke to them that he was not in fear of his life and that he could have pretty much gotten away," said Pinellas County Sheriff's Office Spokesperson Cecilia Barreda.

Detectives say Wacker first tried going over to Hindes' apartment two doors down, at around 9:00 p.m. to confront him. But after getting no answer, Wacker, they say, walked to the community's front gate and waited there for the 81-year-old to leave.

A few minutes later, when Hindes pulled his car up to the gate they say Wacker jumped out of the bushes, banged on Hindes' window, and got shot.

"I think it was an argument and there was no reason to pull out a gun," said Peggy Wacker, the victim's ex-wife.

"I got the phone call and I thought my dad was dead," said Wacker's 26-year-old step-daughter Amber.

Amber Wacker says the dispute between the two men has to do with Hindes allegedly making inappropriate advances toward her.

Flirting. Propositions, she says.

"Looked at me and made passes and stuff and my dad didn't like it, you know, obviously," said Amber.

But neighbors say Wacker -- whose jail record shows a long list of arrests including drug charges, burglary and battery -- is the one in their community more likely to get in trouble.

Hindes' next-door neighbor says the 81-year-old is a former businessman with eight kids of his own and had never shown signs of such violence before last night.

"He's a great guy. He's a Christian guy," said neighbor Carole Bowers, "I can't even imagine."

Hindes has been released on a $5,000 bond.

Wacker, who lives not far from the community with a girlfriend, was released from the hospital with the bullet still lodged in his side.

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