4 arrested in VFW shooting in Florida - FOX 35 News Orlando

4 arrested in VFW shooting in Florida

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WINTER SPRINGS, Fla. (AP) - Four men were charged in a shooting at a Veterans of Foreign War post in Florida that killed two people and critically wounded another, authorities said Monday.

The men arrested, identified as 41-year-old Victor Amaro, 38-year-old Robert Eckert, 52-year-old David Maloney and 47-year-old Paul Smith, were each charged with two counts of homicide and one count of attempted homicide.

The gunfire happened after a fight Sunday morning in the VFW's parking lot as a motorcycle club gathered for a charity ride. Police have not said whether the men arrested, or the shooting victims were VFW members or with the motorcycle club, known as the Warlocks.

Police confiscated several weapons. Authorities have not said what started the fight or how the shooting unfolded.

Killed in the gunfire were Harold Liddle and Peter Schlette, police in Winter Springs said. David Jakiela was hospitalized in critical condition.

The parking lot at the post, located in central Florida, was taped off. A nearby senior center had to be evacuated after the shooting.

Police said members of the Pennsylvania Warlocks motorcycle club came to Florida to establish a chapter in Seminole County a few months ago, but said they are not associated with the Florida Warlocks, the first chapter established for a club that has grown since it was founded more than four decades ago, according to the group's website.

"We're still trying to figure out the pieces here and figure out what really happened," said Joe Gault of the Florida VFW.

The Florida VFW started a motorcycle rider's group last year, but stressed it is not a motorcycle club. Several years ago, there were occasional scuffles with different biker groups around central Florida and Tampa VFW chapters, but Gault said the organization hasn't had any problems lately.

"This is a complete and utter shock to me that this happened," said Gault, a Quartermaster with the VFW.

Police will confirm that they are looking into the possibility of a turf battle, but they will not give details.   They also said they recovered 13 guns and 23 knives from the 12 people they have questioned.

Local police are working with state agencies, the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Drug Enforcement Administration on this case, raising questions about possible ties to illegal drugs.



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