LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA, Fla. – A Vietnam veteran was shot while trying to save baby sea turtles at a South Florida beach.
Stan Pannaman, 72, of Tamarac, was shot Friday night near a sea turtle nest in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.
Pannaman said he and Doug Young, a fellow volunteer trying to protect the nest, were confronted by Michael McAuliffe, who approached them and said he didn't like sea turtles.
"He got more aggressive and he got up and he came towards us and he started pulling the stakes away from the nest area," Young told Local 10 News.
Pannaman said he told McAuliffe that sea turtles are a protected species and that it was a felony to do what he was doing. Pannaman said he pulled out his gun in an attempt to calm McAuliffe, but he didn't point it at him.
Young said McAuliffe moved back a few feet but lunged at him once Pannaman put the gun in his pocket.
"At that point, the guy went towards him and wrestled him to the ground," Young said.
Pannaman said McAuliffe took his pistol and then shot him with it.
"He got next to me and he asked me, 'Are you alright?'" Pannaman said. "And I said, 'Sir, you just shot me. How could I be alright?'"
Pannaman said the bullet is still lodged in his buttocks. It should be removed in the next few weeks.
McAuliffe, a convicted felon, is facing multiple charges, Broward Sheriff's Office records confirmed.
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