Police: Winter Park man shot in the back in apparent accident

Staff report
SkyHi News

WINTER PARK — A Winter Park man was airlifted to Lakewood after one of his friends shot him in the back in an apparent accident Saturday night, Sept. 18, in Winter Park.

According to the Winter Park Fraser Police Department, a preliminary investigation determined that the 24-year-old man and a friend were inside the man’s apartment at the Mary Jane Day Center when the friend picked up a .22 caliber revolver, cocked it and pulled the trigger.

The bullet struck the 24-year-old in the back in what was described to police as an accidental shooting.

Grand County Dispatch received the call from the shooting victim at about 7:40 p.m. Saturday, reporting that he was driving from the Mary Jane Road to downtown Winter Park. County EMS and police officers then met the victim in the Fraser Winter Park Police Department’s parking lot.

Upon arrival, the man was transferred to an ambulance and then airlifted by a Flight for Life helicopter to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Lakewood. The victim was reported to have suffered from a penetrating gunshot wound to the left side of his back and underwent emergency surgery for his injuries.

Officers searched the apartment and recovered a .22 caliber revolver and other evidence. The shooter, identified as Eric Van Geet, 25, of Idaho Springs was arrested for investigation of second-degree assault and reckless endangerment, according to police.

Neither alcohol nor drugs are believed to be a factor in the incident.

Police noted that the booking charges are merely accusations based on probable cause, and all persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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