A Florida man was charged with attempted murder after he attacked his elderly boss with a hatchet and shot him in the face on Tuesday night, authorities said.
Fredie Vale, 47, pulled up in his vehicle just before 6 p.m. to the 77-year-old victim’s property in Enterprise, Florida, where he also lives in a barn apartment, the Volusia County Sheriff's Office said.
Vale allegedly approached the victim, who is his boss and landlord, with a hatchet. He handed the hatchet to the victim before he quickly grabbed it back and threatened to kill him, according to deputies.
Vale then swung the hatchet at the older man, who fell to the ground, authorities said.
"The victim told deputies Vale then jumped on top of him and attempted to strike him with the hatchet," the sheriff’s office said.
The 77-year-old man said he tried to get Vale to stop by dodging, blocking and kicking him.
Deputies said Vale suddenly got off the victim and walked to his apartment, where he retrieved a pistol. Vale then reportedly tried to shoot the victim, but the gun did not fire. He pulled the trigger a second time and shot the 77-year-old in the cheek on the left side of his face.
Vale fled to his apartment, and the victim ran to his own home where his wife was cooking dinner, the sheriff’s office said. The wounded man said he saw Vale speed away in his vehicle and immediately called 911.
The 77-year-old man was treated at a local hospital for a gunshot wound to the face and a laceration to his right thigh. The injuries were non-life-threatening.
The victim described his relationship with Vale as good and told detectives that he has known the 47-year-old for about four or five years. He added that Vale is one of his employees and allowed him to move onto his property about two years ago "because he was down on his luck."
No motive for the attack was immediately released.
Vale was taken into custody without incident at a Walmart in Deltona, Florida about three hours after the incident. He is facing a charge of first-degree murder with a firearm and was being held without bail.