According to witnesses, the suspect later identified by police as 38-year-old Michael McAuliffe began harassing a group of volunteers watching over hatching sea turtles on Friday, saying, “I’m going to get you, you fucking sea turtle people” and “I’m going to beat the fuck out of you.”
[S]econds after Pannaman put the gun back in his pocket, McAuliffe “lunged at me, grabbed me and threw me down onto the sand,” [Pannaman] said.
As they wrestled, McAuliffe hit him in the face and gouged his head, Pannaman said. “I saw stars for a few minutes,” he said.
When McAuliffe got hold of the pistol, he stood up, Pannaman said, and declared, “I’m going to shoot you with your flare gun.”
“Sir,” Pannaman said, “it’s not a flare gun. It’s a real gun.”
Pannaman says McAuliffe then shot him, leaving him with a bullet lodged in his left buttock.
“He asked me ‘Are you all right?’” said Pannaman. “I looked at him and I said ‘No, I’m not all right. You just shot me.’”
Shortly afterward, authorities arrived at the scene and arrested McAuliffe. He now faces charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon and battery on a person 65 or older.