LAND O'LAKES, Fla. — A circuit court judge on Friday ruled against a man charged with second-degree murder in connection with a January 2019 road rage shooting in Land O'Lakes who claimed he discharged his firearm in self-defense.
- Daimon Brissett, 40, claimed other driver tried to run him over
- Witness accounts differ from Brissett's account
- Judge: Circumstances surrounding use of deadly force did not meet "Stand Your Ground" criteria
- More Pasco County stories
Daimon Brissett, 40, who was charged in the shooting at the intersection of State Road 54 and Land O'Lakes Boulevard, told investigators the driver of the vehicle that rear-ended him then tried to run him down.
“I just got rear-ended, and I came out,” Brissett can be heard telling a dispatcher on the recording of the 911 call. “As I’m looking at the back of the vehicle, the driver that rear-ended me tried to run me over with his car.”
“Is anybody injured?” the dispatcher asked.
“Well, I had to discharge my firearm, yes. I don’t know if he’s injured or not,” Brissett responded.
According to an arrest affidavit, Brissett told investigators he was standing at the rear passenger side of his car when the driver of the other car, Scott Bartolotti, 38, drove toward him. Brissett said he jumped toward the rear driver’s side to avoid being hit, then fired his handgun into the driver’s window.
Daimon Brissett (Courtesy of Pasco County Sheriff's Office)
Four witness accounts are included in the documents, and some of them outline a different series of events.
Two witnesses described seeing Brissett walk directly toward the driver’s side of Bartolotti’s vehicle moments before they heard gunshots.
While two accounts also described seeing Bartolotti’s car move forward, none reported seeing Brissett standing in the path of the vehicle. One woman who was directly behind Bartolotti’s car when the shooting occurred told investigators that he quickly pulled in front of her just before the intersection, and then Brissett’s car quickly moved in front of Bartolotti’s.
She said Bartolotti’s car then “’tapped’ or ‘bumped’” the back of Brissett’s car.
Circuit Court Judge Kemba Lewis concluded that Bartolotti’s car was moving away from Brissett at the time of the shooting, and that the circumstances surrounding the deadly force used didn’t meet the criteria of the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law.