At 8 p.m. Tuesday, a gunshot rang out from 1696 Rosewood Street in Bunnell’s Mondex neighborhood (also known as Daytona North). Paulette Berry, 46, told 911 that her husband, 53-year-old Howard Berry, had shot himself in the head. But he was walking around. The property is between Mahogany Blvd. and Walnut Ave.
Two Flagler County Sheriffs deputies arrived at the scene at 8:08 p.m. When they approached the house, they first saw Paulette at the front door, talking on a phone, and “the silhouette of a person walking back and forth from the front door area to the far south side of the residence,” according to the report filed by deputy Jennifer Prevatt. Paulette was very upset, crying, asking the deouties to help her husband and yelling at him to get out of the house. But she wasn;t able to explain what had happened. The silhouette inside the house kept walking around.
Howard Berry finally walked outside and was ordered to walk toward the road, to the deputies’ position. “As he was walking towards me I observed that he had blood covering his chest as he had no shirt on,” Prevatt’s report states. “I further observed that he had blood covering his hands and head. It should be noted that it appeared that H. Berry’s balance was poor as he was having difficulty maintain his balance while walking. Upon contact with H. Berry I checked his person for weapons and located a small pocket knife and a live .380 round of ammunition in his right front pants pocket.”
There were no other occupants in the house. Howard told the deputy that he was “messing around with a gun and it accidentally went off.” He said it was a .380-caliber gun, and pointed to his right-temple area, to show where he had shot himself. “I observed blood on this side of his head, but it was difficult to see the extent of the injury due to his long hair and the blood that was matted in his hair,” the deputy’s report states. But Berry would not say where his gun was. When the deputy asked him to demonstrate how he’d been holding the gun when it went off, he refused to do so.
A Flagler County Fire Rescue unit took him to Halifax Hospital in Daytona Beach.
Paulettte Berry was able to calm down after a while, and explain what had happened. She and her husband had been in an argument, she told deputies, then she went to her room. Her husband then approached her and said: “Baby, Baby, I’m bleeding.” Paulette thought at first that her husband was playing a joke on her, and said she mistook the blood for ketchup. When she eventually attempted to wipe his chest off, she realized it wasn’t ketchup. She called 911. She told the deputies that she never heard a gun discharge.
Detectives responded to the scene, which was turned over to the Investigative Service Division.