Dairy worker struck by bullet; Okeechobee man accused of shooting into an occupied dwelling

OKEECHOBEE — An Okeechobee man is being held in the St. Lucie County Jail following his arrest for his alleged reckless shooting of a rifle that left a dairy worker with a bullet in his chest.

Gerardo Paredes Primo, 26, S.R. 70 E., was arrested early Tuesday, Aug. 2, on one felony count of shooting a deadly missile into an occupied building. His bond had not been set as of newspaper deadline.

GERARDO PRIMO

GERARDO PRIMO

St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office (SLCSO) Detective Ronald C. Wentz stated in his arrest report that the victim was working in a Gracewood Dairy barn on the 16000 block of S.R. 70 E. when he was shot.

The victim — Jesus Nieves Gomez — was washing down the barn’s floor with Julio Beltran. Mr. Beltran reportedly told the SLCSO detective as they were washing down the floor the victim “… bent over and grabbed his chest.”

The victim was bleeding from the front of his chest by his right arm pit, stated the report.

Mr. Beltran went on to tell the detective he heard three gun shots coming from the houses on the north side of S.R. 70 East.

“He said the houses belong to the dairy and dairy workers live there,” stated Detective Wentz.

Mr. Beltran called the dairy manager, who then called 9-1-1.

According to the arrest report Primo and two other men were under the carport of a dairy house at 16441 S.R. 70 East. At some point Primo picked up a .22 magnum caliber rifle and began shooting.

During a search of that carport the detective stated eight, .22 magnum shell casings were found along with “… many empty and full beer cans.”

The rifle allegedly used in the shooting, along with some ammunition, was found behind a home at 16471 S.R. 70 East, indicated the report.

“The rifle had an empty water bottle taped on the end of the barrel (as a suppressor),” stated Detective Wentz.

Gun shot residue (GSR) tests were done on Primo and the other two men who were with him on the carport. Detective Wentz noted that Primo was the only man whose GSR test was positive.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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