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Friday, August 19, 2022

Man accused of shooting at couple loading car with Halloween costumes

Generic Crime
Generic Crime

Valecia Mims thought she heard firecrackers. Then she saw the pointed gun.

Mims, 26, and her boyfriend were loading their car Monday night with Halloween costumes on the 5000 block of Southwest 67th Street when a man began yelling and shooting at them, she told The Alligator. 

Gainesville man John Lawrence Manion, 48, was accused of shooting at the couple for parking in the road in front of his home at Arredondo Estates west of Interstate 75, according to an Alachua County Sheriff’s Office arrest report. No one was injured. 

“I’m still in shock,” Mims said. “I’m scared to even let my daughter outside now.”

The couple drove away and called police while Manion continued shooting, Mims said. 

She heard about a dozen gunshots and checked if she or her boyfriend were hurt once they were safe, she said. 

Manion told deputies he wasn’t the shooter, but he heard gunshots and yelling while he was asleep and thought he was dreaming, the report said. 

Manion allowed deputies to search his home. They found empty boxes of ammunition, a rifle and a loaded pistol magazine, the report said.

Multiple witnesses heard but didn’t see the shooting, police said.

Manion was charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of possessing a weapon as a felon. 

He is being held in the Alachua County Jail in lieu of a $39,000 bond.

Contact Jessica Curbelo at and follow her on Twitter at @jesscurbelo

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