Sunday, January 15, 2023

Armed Samaritans in Bingo Parler Hold Man who Shot at Women

Lee David Wilkerson from Escambia County FL Sheriff's Office

The Escambia County Sheriff's Office reported an incident occurred on January 4, 2023, outside the Bingo Paradise hall in Pensacola, Florida. Two women were reported to be approaching the entrance. One of the women told deputies they had come to obtain jumper cables from her mother, who was in the bingo hall. Suspect Lee David Wilkerson, 38 years old, is reported to have got into an altercation with the women, pulled out a pistol, hit one of the women on the head with the pistol, then fired several shots as the women fled into the parking lot. From the Sheriff's Office:

Lee David Wilkerson was standing outside of the business when two females tried to enter. They became involved in an altercation at the entrance of the building. During the altercation, he retrieved a firearm from his side and hit one female victim in the head with it. He then began shooting in their direction and continued to fire into the parking lot as the victims fled. 
Wilkerson then tossed the firearm in a nearby dumpster, but not his meth. As Wilkerson tried to enter the building, two citizens who had witnessed the altercation pulled their concealed weapons, holding Wilkerson until deputies arrived. 

Inside the Bingo Hall, the manager is reported as telling the customers to get down. But two of the players pulled their personal defense weapons. The Armed Samaritans have not been described or identified. When the suspect attempted to enter the hall, they held him for the authorities. When the authorities arrested Wilkerson, they searched him and found a crystal substance in a zip loc bag which also contained a knife. They searched the area where Wilkerson is reported to have told them  where he placed the pistol. They found a Taurus .380 Spectrum pistol in a dumpster. The pistol had an extended magazine with one round in the magazine. Another round appears to have been in the chamber, from the police photograph.

Wilkerson was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, firing a weapon in public, use/display of a firearm during a felony, aggravated battery/use of a deadly weapon, and trafficking of Methamphetamine. The firearm used was located by deputies in the nearby dumpster.


Wilkerson, as a convicted felon, is forbidden by law from possessing firearms or ammunition. The Spectrum is a popular pistol for concealed carry because of its light weight, small size, and lack of sharp edges. It had some problems in early releases, but seems to have reliably fired in this incident.  

While the sheriff's office report uses the word "tossed", an image which appears to be of the pistol as found, in the Sheriff's office report, it appears the pistol was placed with some care. 

"Tossed" may have been the term used by the suspect. The report is ambiguous about who used the term. 

People who use meth are often paranoid and make poor decisions. Fortunately, no one was shot in the incident, and armed Samaritans were on hand to hold the suspect for police. 


The armed Samaritans exersized good judgement in not searching the suspect. It is a dangerous job. As the police were on the way, and the subject subdued, they avoided possible danger and did not add complications to the collection of evidence.

©2023 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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