Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office investigates shooting

OKEECHOBEE — When Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the report of a shooting in the 1900 block of Southeast 34th Lane on May 30, they found Sara King, 44, bleeding from a wound near her right eye. She did not explain what had happened, but repeatedly said the name of the woman who owned the house.

King was trauma hawked to Lawnwood Hospital.

This left a confusing situation for Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) to to sort out.

The homeowner was not at the residence when deputies arrived. After reviewing video surveillance from a neighbor’s camera, the OCSO was able to determine the homeowner’s vehicle had not arrived or departed in the hour surrounding the shooting, and the homeowner was not seen on the video during that time either.

A male, who was later identified as King’s son, was seen on the video leaving the residence. On the video, he showed no sign of distress or panic, the report notes. Five minutes after King’s son left the home, the video showed King exiting the house, holding her face and yelling.

When King’s son was contacted later by OCSO, he said King asked him to stop by. He said when he arrived, he saw a gun on the kitchen counter, and King, who had obviously been drinking, threatened to kill herself with it. He reportedly told the deputies when he tried to take the gun away, it appeared to be jammed, and he believed it was broken and she would not be able to use it. He told deputies he knew nothing about his mother’s injuries.

The homeowner, when interviewed later, told OCSO Deputy Quintin Speed that King, her son’s girlfriend, had been living with her to help her with grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning. She said King recently stole money from her bank account. She said King had used her debit card in the past when she went grocery shopping for her, so she knew the pin number. She claimed King also stole checks from her and forged her name. She believed King hid it from her by changing all of her passwords and her email address for the account. The total amount of money reportedly stolen was $3,011.54. She said she discovered the theft prior to the shooting and gave King a choice between paying it back or going to jail. She said King agreed to pay the money back.

On June 10, the homeowner went to OCSO to press charges against King.

Throughout the month of June, OCSO made multiple attempts to locate King after her release from the hospital, and finally, on June 29, she returned Detective DeMarcus Dixon’s call. At that time, King reportedly told him that when she repeated the homeowner’s name on the day of the shooting, she did not mean the other woman was the one who shot her. She claimed she was trying to tell them that the homeowner drove her to shooting herself.

On July 14, Detective Dixon interviewed King. She reportedly claimed the homeowner gave her the money and also claimed her family members were witnesses. She refused to talk about the gun.

Sara King, 44, U.S. 441 South, was arrested July 14 by OCSO and charged with grand theft, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and giving false information to law enforcement. Bond was set at $13,000.

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