Georgia Man Accused of Shooting Friend as they Travel on the Turnpike near Clermont Sunday Night

CLERMONT, Fla.—A Georgia man is being held in the Lake County Jail on no bond after being accused of shooting his friend as they traveled on Florida’s Turnpike late Sunday night.

The Florida Highway Patrol asked for assistance from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office around 10:30 p.m. Sunday in reference to a man stopping vehicles and asking for help. Not long after, LCSO received a 911 call from an unnamed individual stating someone was banging on their door and asking for help in unincorporated Clermont, according to an arrest affidavit.

Deputies responded to the home and found Bounmy Xayavong, who told them he was traveling south on the Turnpike with his longtime friend, a man later identified as Sergio Villanueva. The pair began arguing about an ex-girlfriend and Villanueva shot him in the upper right thigh while he was driving, he told deputies. He stopped the vehicle, got out and began running and asking for help, according to the affidavit.

Villanueva, 26, then drove away and after Xayavong was unable to find help on the Turnpike, he jumped off the roadway and went down a hill to County Road 561 to look for help. Xayavong provided the wrong name and date of birth to deputies and “seemed to be withholding information from deputies,” the arresting deputy noted in the affidavit. Deputies searched him and he was identified by a Georgia Department of Defense paper that had his name on it. They also found a key fob with a plastic tag that had an Oregon license plate number on it. After running the tag, they found it belonged to a Hertz rental car.

Deputies canvassed the Turnpike in search of evidence and a crime scene and came up empty. About three hours later, at 1:30 a.m., the LCSO Communication Center received a 911 call from a male that said, “Oh yeah,” and hung up, Deputies went to the area on Lemongrass Road to canvass the area and found a dark-colored Chevrolet parked toward the back of a home under construction. Deputies called out and Villanueva, lying on his stomach with his arms stretched out, called out from inside the home for deputies to arrest him, according to the affidavit.

They took him into custody and searched him for the gun and he “spontaneously uttered” he threw the gun because he was frightened. He took deputies to the area where he said he threw it, but they were unable to find it, the affidavit states.

Villanueva was arrested for aggravated battery, trespassing on a construction site and tampering with evidence.

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