‘I knew I got hit:’ Victim recounts being shot during Cape Coral shooting spree
CAPE CORAL, Fla. – The first thing Richard Huwiler saw Monday morning was the man who shot him less than 24 hours before.
Huwiler was one of five people shot Sunday evening during a shooting spree in Cape Coral that left two people dead and three others injured. The shooter was then killed by police.
Investigators identified Christopher Michael Moran, 31, of 901 SE 8th Terrace in Cape Coral, as the shooter.
Born in Massachusetts, Moran was arrested in Daytona Beach for battery and false imprisonment in 2007 and was charged with DUI in Lee County in 2014, according to jail records. He filed an injunction in Nov. 2015 for protection against domestic violence against his mother, according to court records. Moran sought the court order on behalf of his son following accusations of child neglect and threats, according to the documents.
Moran’s face is one Huwiler said he will never forget.
“So that could be for the rest of my life,” he said.
‘I knew I got hit’
The shooting spree started at about 5:45 p.m. after a shooting call came in from the 2600 block of Skyline Boulevard.
The victim, a motorcyclist, was shot in the head and pronounced dead at the scene.
As officers worked the first shooting, Huwiler was walking into the Circle K at Chiquita Boulevard and Cape Coral Parkway West.
He noticed Moran in line with a car visor in his hand, but didn’t think anything of it.
While Huwiler waited, Philly Rivera was about to enter the store when he saw a red Mazda drive over a median and pull into the gas station.
A woman was pushing a baby stroller near the vehicle. She took the baby out, got into the car and left, leaving the stroller, Rivera said.
Moments later, the Mazda returned. Moran exited the vehicle with an item in his hand.
“He had it wrapped up in the windshield visor thing and I think he must’ve put it on the bottom of the baby carriage and walked in with it like that,” he said.
Huwiler was purchasing cigarettes when he heard a loud sound.
“When I was giving her the name of them, I heard this bang and my first impression was the kid might have had a balloon or something,” he said.
He smelled gunpowder.
Then he saw one of the two store clerks fall to the ground.
“And I was watching (Moran), I’m walking over and he turned around, looked me in the eye, held that shotgun and cocked it,” Huwiler said. “I don’t know what made me think but I ducked immediately and it went off. When I ducked down, I knew I got hit.”
Huwiler was shot in the right hand. Shotgun pellets also struck his back and side.
“I won’t forget that guy’s eyes when he looked at me, cocked that rifle, that shotgun,” he said. “Very traumatic. In my mind I’m thinking I’m hoping this dude don’t come back around the corner and shoot me again. I think he probably thought he killed me.”
He also remembered Moran’s eyes.
“I don’t know, the devil,” he said. “I’ll never forget his eyes for sure.”
Huwiler, who spoke about the incident from his home on Monday, realizes that things could’ve gotten really bad for him.
“I’m thinking, most people, if they want to kill you, they have their finger on the trigger and pump it, it goes off,” he said. “He pumped it, didn’t have his finger on the trigger and then blasted it. If he hadn’t of done that, who knows, I wouldn’t be talking to you guys.”
The shooting started seconds after Huwiler walked into the store, he said.
“Saw the parents of the (killed store clerk) pull up and that was a really emotional toll,” he said. “Someday I hope to talk to them and say at least I don’t think their son felt any pain at all.”
Authorities have not released the names of the other victims as of Monday evening.
‘Very unique circumstance’
About four minutes after the second shooting, authorities located Moran’s vehicle near the 5100 block of Skyline Boulevard.
Officers opened fire after Moran “violently resisted officers.”
Two passengers in the vehicle, a child and a second individual, were taken to a hospital as trauma alerts.
Their conditions were not immediately known Monday afternoon, nor was it immediately clear if they were injured by police gunfire. It was also not known if they were related to Moran.
“This is a very unique circumstance, a very tragic circumstance,” said Det. Sgt. Dana Coston, Cape Coral police spokesman, during a Sunday night press conference.
His comments followed a question about the number of homicides Cape Coral has in a year, which he said is normally less than five.
“There are certain days that stick out in your mind and this is definitely one of those for me and probably many of the men and women working this evening,” he said.
A vigil will be held at Four Freedoms Park in Cape Coral on Tuesday at 7 p.m. to provide “community prayer and support” for the victims and their families.