Patrick A. McCall
HIGH SPRINGS – A skeet-shooting match at Forest Grove Baptist Church ended in life-threatening injuries for a High Springs man on the evening of Oct. 20.
According to the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO), a group of church members was shooting skeet with shotguns at the church, located at 22575 NW 94th Avenue. Patrick A. McCall walked out of his house, which is located across the street from the church at 9306 NW 226th Street, and randomly fired a handgun in the direction of the church.
According to the arrest report, McCall said he was inside his house when he heard gun shots coming from the direction of the church. He retrieved his 9 mm Sig handgun that had a loaded magazine and grabbed another magazine that was loaded.
Standing four feet behind his house, he fired quick, successive shots until the magazine was empty. He reloaded and fired again, but could not remember if he emptied the magazine.
He said he was pointing the gun in the air in the direction of a pecan tree that is in front of his house. McCall said he fired rounds because he heard other people firing rounds. It is something he has done in the past.
Later, he said he fired the rounds because he wanted the church members to stop. He admitted that it was not the best idea to shoot rounds into the air without knowing where they will land, but he said he had no intention of hurting anyone.
ACSO Deputy Heather Phillips interviewed Thomas Jackson, Sr., one of the skeet-shooters at the scene. He said the church members were shooting on the south side of the property in a southerly direction.
As they reloaded their shotguns, there was a lull in the shooting. They heard a succession of shots and saw Judah go down, saying he had been shot.
Jackson did not see the suspect. He took his two sons inside for cover. His vehicle was hit by gunfire, shattering the back windshield.
His 12-year-old son saw the suspect. He heard a pause in the shooting, followed by “a lot of fast shots” that sounded like they were coming from across the street.
He saw the man focusing on something in the direction of where everyone was skeet shooting. It sounded like the shooter ran out of bullets. He then saw the man walk back to his residence.
Another witness, Jayde Roof, went over to help Judah, seeing that he had a hole on one side of his stomach and a graze on the other side. He applied pressure to Judah’s wounds while telling the others they should shoot the suspect if he approached.
The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office received a call at approximately 6:41 p.m. saying that someone had been shot. Medical personnel from Alachua County Fire Rescue and deputies from the sheriff’s office arrived to find Robert Matthew “Matt” Judah, 36, suffering from a gunshot wound to the abdomen. The deputies and fire rescue personnel administered first aid on the scene, and the victim was air lifted to Shands Hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Deputies evacuated the remaining people, including several children, from the church due to the nature of the investigation. They located several objects that had been struck by the random gunfire.
After three hours, the SWAT team took the suspect into custody without incident.
McCall was arrested and charged with attempted homicide. He is currently being held in the Alachua County Jail on $750,000 bail pending court appearances.
- Font Size
- Reading Mode