Armed Taxi Driver Defends Self Against Knife-Wielding Robber, Shooting And Killing Suspect
SEBASTIAN, FLORIDA — A man with a concealed carry permit in Florida was forced to use his firearm in an apparent self-defense situation while on the job as a taxi driver.
The man, Eric Wetzel, is also the owner of the taxi company, called Caravan Transport. The incident happened on May 30th.
According to police, Wetzel responded to the area of Concha and Periwinkle drivers to pick up a fare known to him from previous calls for service. The riders were previously identified as Jason Murtha, 36, and his cousin, Michael Hains, 34.
Wetzel told investigators that when he picked up Murtha and Hains, Murtha pulled a knife on Wetzel and demanded his money. After Wetzel gave Murtha the money, Wetzel tried to flee in the taxi van but Murtha pursued him.
“Wetzel, believing he was still in danger, drew a 9mm semi-automatic pistol from a hip holster and fired several times,” police said in the released statement. The Sebastian Police Department confirmed that Wetzel has a valid concealed weapons permit.
Murtha was struck five times and died on the way to the hospital.
To date, Wetzel hasn’t been charged or arrested in connection with this shooting, which seems to be a case of self-defense.
The case has been completed by the police department and has now been forwarded to the State Attorney’s Office.