MELROSE, FLORIDA — A 26-year-old man, Jason Kaercher, was involved in a violent confrontation that led to him being shot multiple times through a Bible he was holding, in a situation deputies have classified as self-defense under Stand Your Ground laws.

The incident, which took place near a Melrose elementary school, began when Kaercher, after displaying erratic behavior, was with his family and a case worker from the Department of Children and Families. He endangered his 3-month-old child by squeezing them until they turned blue and claimed he was “God” while walking dangerously on State Road 21.

Efforts by a family member and bystanders, including a work crew, to subdue him led to further violence. Kaercher attacked multiple individuals, including beating a man with a shovel, which resulted in the man’s broken arm.

The situation escalated until the man, in self-defense, shot Kaercher as he advanced towards him with the Bible. The shooter and the baby received medical treatment for their injuries, and Kaercher was airlifted to a trauma center.

Authorities are investigating, but initial assessments suggest the shooter acted in self-defense, and charges are anticipated against Kaercher.



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