COLLIER COUNTY_Fla.-"Duane is a guy I have known for years and he has always been pleasant and cooperative eager to please people," said the President of Saint Matthews House, Vann Ellison. He is disappointed a former St. Matthews resident got tangled up in an officer involved shooting.
The Collier County Sheriff's Office said Duane Gregory was waving a gun and acting erratically this morning outside this 7-11 at Estey Avenue and Airport-Pulling Road.
Two deputies at the scene say they were scared for their lives. So one of the deputies shot Gregory. Turns out Gregory's gun was a fake.
Gregory has a lengthy criminal history which includes stealing and trespassing. He is also convicted felon.
But, Ellison said while the 49-year old was living at St. Matthews House he had put his criminal past behind him and turned his life around..
"I can remember events here and he volunteers to help clean up or help serve other people," said Ellison.
Ellison says Gregory moved out a year ago. He suspects substance abuse may have gotten the best of Gregory.
"People who struggle with addictions or depression- the despair and hopelessness- am I ever going to get it right- is a common thing for people, but who knows what goes on in someone's head. It is sad," said Ellison.
Ellison said,"It just breaks my heart to see him and the deputy going through this."