Man arrested, girlfriend shot in head

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By Bob Reichman

A 19-year-old Wildwood man was arrested last week on a variety of charges in connection with the shooting injury earlier this month of his 17-year-old girlfriend.

Mario Lorenzo Farmer was arrested on Aug. 15 when he attempted to appear at the Sumter County Courthouse on unrelated charges, according to a Wildwood Police Department report. He was charged with two counts of firing a weapon, two counts of damaging property – criminal mischief, crimes against a person, possession of a weapon, cruelty to a child and destroying evidence.

Farmer was placed in the Sumter County Detention Center without bond.

Farmer’s arrest comes following an investigation by the Wildwood Police Department into the 17-year-old victim’s injuries which required treatment at Ocala Regional Hospital, according to a police department report.

The shooting happened on Aug. 9. Police were notified that the victim had been shot in the head while she was a passenger in Farmer’s car, according to the report. About the same time, additional shots had been fired about two blocks away from the victim’s home.

When officers arrived at the victim’s home, she was lying in the driveway conscious and alert, according to the report. Farmer was inside the residence and told police that she had been shot when a subject shot at his car while they were out driving.

But following an investigation, police maintain that Farmer fired three rounds from a firearm at a group of subject while  he was driving in a nearby neighborhood.

 Farmer sat in the driver’s seat of the car while he was shooting through the front lower right windshield, causing injuries to the victim sitting in the passenger’s seat, according to the report.

“Sometime while Mario was in transit to the victim’s home, he had called the victim’s mother and told her that the victim was shot and she needed help,” the report states. “As the victim’s parents exited their home, they found the victim walking up to the driveway hold a shirt, which was pressed against the side of her head. The mother tended to the victim and called 911 for help.”

Farmer fled from detectives investigating the incident and was arrested on a probable cause arrest warrant.