Florida Keys man shoots another man, dog during argument, deputies say

Dwight Engelhardt faces attempted murder charges

Dwight Engelhardt is accused of shooting a man and his friend's dog.
Dwight Engelhardt is accused of shooting a man and his friend's dog.

STOCK ISLAND, Fla. – A Florida Keys man was arrested Friday after he shot another man and a friend's dog, deputies said.

Dwight Engelhardt, 63, faces charges of attempted murder after Friday night's incident at Hogfish Bar & Grill on Stock Island.

Monroe County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Becky Herrin said Engelhardt and a friend, Dirk Giagu, 46, were drinking at the bar and took Giagu's dog with them. After having a beer and some tequila shots, the two men and the dog got back on their dinghy to return home.

Before they left, Charles Whitaker, 55, got into an argument with a woman at the bar about the dog. She told deputies that she made a joking remark about stealing the dog, but Whitaker took her seriously and got angry, yelling and cursing at her.

Engelhardt got involved and told Whitaker to leave because he was trespassing, Herrin said.

A witness told deputies that Engelhardt threatened several times to kill Whitaker before going into the cabin of his sailboat, returning with a handgun and firing several shots.

Whitaker was struck three times in the groin area, and the dog was struck once in the leg. He was airlifted to Kendall Regional Medical Center, where he was listed in critical but stable condition.

The dog was treated for the leg injury and was expected to survive.

Deputies were called to a report of shots fired at the bar and found Engelhardt still on his sailboat. He was taken into custody.