Palm Bay Shooting: College Student May Have Acted in Self-Defense

Friday, 31 Jan 2014 08:26 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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Authorities believe that the latest college campus shooting may have been in self-defense, as a student at East Florida State College shot another man outside of the college's main building in Palm Bay Thursday afternoon.

Police told Florida Today that Landrick Hamilton, 24, was attacked by Amado Contreras, 25, and his brother Landyer, 24, with a pool cue when Hamilton pulled out his gun from his car and shot Amado Contreras in the chest. 

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Authorities told WFTV that Contreras was listed in fair condition and his injuries were not considered life threatening. 

"We just heard a gunshot. Well, we heard a loud, 'Pow, pow!' We didn’t know. We didn’t know exactly what it was," one witness said. "No one was alarmed, (and) then we just saw people running over there."

Policed said that Hamilton was treated at a local hospital for head injuries he received in the fight right before the shooting.

Florida Today reported that the East Florida State College incident happens nearly eight weeks after a state appeals court struck down a ban at the University of North Florida that prevented students from storing guns in their cars.

The state of Florida prevents anyone from possessing or exhibiting guns on campus, including university and college campuses.

Palm Bay police chief Doug Muldoon told Florida Today that witness statements and evidence will be sent to the state attorney’s office, where the self-defense claim will be examined. Police said that all three men are claiming self-defense.

"At this point we don't have any information if they knew each other or what the actual cause, or what prompted this fight to take place," Muldoon told reporters. "The upside is, this is not a random shooting. Not that any shooting is good, but it’s not just somebody roaming the halls."

The shooting comes a week after a deadly shooting on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. In that incident, engineering undergraduate teaching assistant Andrew Boldt was shot and stabbed Jan. 21 in a classroom.

Cody Cousins, an undergraduate teaching assistant in the same program, has been charged with murder.

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