An altercation between two men who’ve known each other for many years–both have been in relationships with the same woman, one no longer is, but is still married to her–began on Lewis Shire Place around midday Sunday, escalated into a physical fight at the Dollar General on Matanzas Woods Parkway, then a car chase involving both men and several gunshots, ending with the arrest of 46-year-old Victor Demtri Smith on five charges, four of them felonies. No one was injured.
Smith is married to the woman who was now dating and living with Luke (the name is a pseudonym, as the alleged victim’s name is protected by Marsy’s Law.) Smith and the woman have been separated about five months. Luke told Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies that he was in his car when he noticed Smith in his Lexus slowly drive past his girlfriend’s Lewis Shire Place house and take pictures as he drove past. Luke didn’t know it was Smith just then. He followed the Lexus and saw it blow through stop signs. Luke pulled next to Smith’s car at the intersection of Lakeview Boulevard and Matanzas Woods Parkway and recognized him.
“Oh, it’s you,” he told him, according to Smith. Both then drove on to the Dollar General, both got out of their cars, and bother got into a fight, with several witnesses watching and calling 911. Deputies would later rely on one video and witness statements to determine that Smith had been the primary aggressor, though Luke also set chase after Smith left the scene. The two men drove along U.S. 1, where–according to Luke–Smith pulled over, with Luke right behind him. Smith took out a revolver and fired about five times as Luke was turning around. Two bullets struck Luke’s car. Deputies arrived in the area just as Luke was driving away.
Smith was arrested, and gave deputies a different account. He said he’d driven from out of state to see his wife (he is living in Lexington, South Carolina, according to the address he gave deputies) but when he saw a gray Genesis in the driveway, he drove on, only for Luke to pull up next to him. Smith said he went to Dollar General to get a drink. There, Luke blocked him in with his vehicle–an allegation deputies said was not supported by video evidence.
It was Luke who sprinted at him in a fighting stance, Smith told deputies. A fight followed before Victor fled and the two cars chased each other through a residential zone, with Luke’s car allegedly striking Smith’;s from behind. Smith said he took out a firearm in self-defense and shot at Luke when he pulled up near him.
Deputies did not give credence to Smith’s account, and charged him with firing a gun into an occupied vehicle, firing a gun from a vehicle, and displaying a gun in the commission of a felony, all second-degree felonies, plus aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a third degree felony. He was also charged with misdemeanor battery and booked at the Flagler County jail. County Judge Andrea Totten set his bond at $96,000 at his first court appearance.