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Masaryktown man shoots son’s friend in the chest, deputies say

Tribune staff
Published:   |   Updated: July 2, 2014 at 12:28 PM

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A 55-year-old Masaryktown man faces attempted second-degree murder charges after shooting a man at close range in the chest on Tuesday, deputies said.

Stephan Murphy, of 406 Washington Ave., also faces aggravated assault with a firearm charges and was being held in the Hernando County Detention Center on $55,000 bond.

Hernando County deputies were called to a shooting at Murphy’s home about 9:45 p.m.

Murphy’s son, Stephan Murphy Jr., had gone to his father’s home with Nicholas Leverich, 25, and Tina Hall, 26, in Hall’s vehicle, according to an arrest report from the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.

Murphy Jr. and Leverich knocked on Murphy’s door while Hall waited in the car.

Murphy, who has a volatile relationship with his son, became irate when he discovered the two men at the door, the report said.

The men retreated to the vehicle, with Murphy following them with a .21 caliber semi-automatic handgun, according to the report.

He put the gun to Hall’s head and demanded that she give him the keys, the report said.

As Hall pleaded with Murphy not to shoot her, he reached in the car and turned it off while keeping the gun against Hall’s head, the report said.

Murphy then turned the gun on Leverich, who was seated in the front passenger seat, the report said. Leverich apologized for causing problems and got out of the vehicle, according to the report.

Murphy brought up an incident that happened two years ago, telling Leverich, he should have “chopped his head off when he had the chance,” according to the report.

Murphy held the gun on Leverich and began pushing him in the chest with his free hand, the report said.

With the gun pointed in Leverich’s face, Murphy continued to make threats before lowering the gun and shooting him in the upper right chest, just below the collar bone, according to the report.

Murphy then continued to stand over Leverich, berating him, the report said.

Leverich was taken to Regional Center Bayonet Point with non life threatening injuries, the report said.

Deputies continue to investigate.

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