KEY WEST, Fla. – Newly-obtained surveillance video from the Monroe County State Attorney’s Office showed the morning they say a well-known Key West businessman fatally shot an unarmed 21-year-old whom he confronted for urinating on the side of his building.
Lloyd Preston Brewer III, 57, was charged with second-degree murder in the Feb. 13 shooting of Garrett Hughes. He appeared in Monroe County court for a hearing Thursday.
Police said the video shows Hughes, who was shirtless, leaving Conch Town Liquor & Lounge, located at 3340 N. Roosevelt Blvd., just after 12:30 a.m.
Brewer owns the small shopping center where the bar is located.
The video shows Brewer appearing to reach for something in his waistband and raising his arms. A Key West police report says Brewer went into a “shooting stance” as he confronted Hughes.
That led to an altercation before shots rang out. It’s not clear in the video when that happens.
Local 10 News froze the video the moment before Hughes collapsed after being wounded.
Prosecutors say Brewer himself called 911 after the shooting to report that he shot Hughes, who Brewer claimed “came at (him) aggressively in (his) parking lot.
Caller: Yes, hello, I just shot someone.
Dispatch: You just shot someone? Who did you shoot?
Caller: I don’t know - what is his name? Garrett Hughes.
Dispatch: Okay, why did you shoot him?
Caller: He came at me aggressively in my parking lot at Conch Town.911 call transcript
Prosecutors and police say, however, that the case was not one of self-defense. They said the video evidence contradicts Brewer’s claim.
“Brewer said it appeared that Hughes was going to pull something from his waist band,” A Key West police detective wrote in a report following the shooting. “Brewer could not identify exactly what was aggressive or threatening about Hughes’ behavior and denied having seen Hughes in possession of any weapons.”
However, Brewer’s attorney, Chris Mancini, pushed back at prosecutors in a statement to Local 10 News Thursday.
“The Monroe County (State Attorney’s Office) has claimed in the media that the video tape evidence in this case shows things it absolutely does not show,” Mancini said. “The SAO has been trying to convince the public that ‘this was a senseless killing’ and that Mr. Brewer was ‘annoyed’ and had a ‘warped interpretation of the situation’ and that the video tape evidence does not ‘substantiate a Stand Your Ground defense in this case.’”
Mancini said that Brewer’s defense team “will present the true picture of what actually occurred” in an April 26 bond hearing.
Brewer remained jailed as of Thursday. Hughes’ parents sued Brewer in the wake of the shooting.
Tributes for Hughes, described as a loving son and a stellar athlete, have continued.