News Releases

3 charged in Blue Springs State Park shooting

News Release

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Media contact: Joy Hill, 352-258-3426

Two Volusia County men and a minor are facing multiple charges stemming from an early morning illegal hunting trip in Blue Springs State Park on Sept. 10.

After a three-week investigation, investigators with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), working with the state attorney's office in Volusia County, filed misdemeanor charges against Benjamin Davidson, 24, of Deland; Joshua Fancher, 18, of Orange City; and a 17-year-old male from Deland. Each is charged with:

  • open carry of a firearm for an unlawful purpose;
  • attempt to take alligator by unlawful method;
  • hunting in a state park.

In addition to the above charges, Fancher is charged with:

  • furnishing firearm to a minor.

The juvenile is also charged with:

  • culpable negligence inflicting injury;
  • possession of firearm by a minor.

The trio's troubles began around midnight Sept. 10, when, armed with a .22-caliber rifle and a couple of 12-gauge shotguns, they went hunting in Blue Springs State Park in Orange City. They came upon an alligator and took a shot but missed. At around 2:30 a.m., as they walked through the early-morning dark, the minor and Fancher stumbled into each other. The minor's rifle somehow discharged, and two .22-caliber bullets hit Fancher in the foot. The victim survived the shooting.

The FWC began its investigation after being notified of the incident by the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.

If you know of or suspect illegal hunting, fishing, wildlife or boating activity, please call the FWC's 24-hour Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922. The call is free, you may remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward if your information leads to an arrest.

FWC Facts:
Black bears originated in North America, and have been here at least 1.5 million years.

Learn More at AskFWC