Shooting trial starts for county firefighter


Published: Wednesday, November 1, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 1, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
An Alachua County jury will decide if an area firefighter was trying to protect himself when he shot a Gainesville man last year, leaving him partially paralyzed.
Brian Minnich, 27, an Alachua County firefighter, is facing charges of attempted first-degree murder and aggravated assault with a firearm for shooting Baron Krevetski, 29, in the early morning hours of March 13, 2005.
The incident started over a woman's missing purse, both a prosecutor and a defense attorney told jurors Tuesday morning at the Alachua County criminal courthouse. But the reasons they offered for what happened next differed. One told the jury that Minnich acted in self-defense as Krevetski began smashing his pickup's windows while Minnich was inside the vehicle. The other described Minnich as the aggressor who first pulled a gun on Krevetski.
Krevetski was shot twice outside his home at 318 NW 24th St. after Minnich pulled out a gun and confronted him about the purse, said Assistant State Attorney Margaret Stack.
Minnich later made a 911 call, saying on the phone that he should have driven away.
"He should have driven off," Stack said. "If he had done that, we wouldn't have been here."
But defense attorney Gloria Fletcher told jurors Minnich acted to protect himself when Krevetski began smashing the pickup's windows.
"We believe that the evidence is going to show you that, at that time and minute, Brian Minnich believed he was trapped," she said.
Earlier in the evening, Minnich had given Krevetski and two others a ride home, Stack said.
The two men had just met that morning after being out at area clubs, but Minnich agreed to offer Krevetski a ride because they had a mutual acquaintance.
Minnich left Krevetski's home but later returned when a female friend who had been with him couldn't find her purse.
Stack told the jury that Minnich pulled out the gun and pointed it at Krevetski's head. To protect himself, Krevetski grabbed an iron. Minnich left the house and got into his truck, the prosecutor said. But, when Krevetski went outside with a flashlight, Minnich again pulled out the gun and aimed it at Krevetski, Stack said.
Krevetski then used the flashlight to smash windows on the pickup, Stack said. Minnich fired seven shots. One hit Krevetski in the leg. The other hit the left side of his chest and damaged his spine, causing lower leg paralysis.
Fletcher, however, said it was Krevetski, not Minnich, who became angry over the purse. Minnich first pulled his gun, she said, after Krevetski threatened him with an iron.
Minnich had wanted to leave the home after the initial confrontation, Fletcher said, but female acquaintance he had brought with him did not follow him to his pickup, and he didn't want to go without her. Minutes later Krevetski came outside with the flashlight, threatened Minnich and the shots were fired.
The trial is expected to last through most of the week.
Lise Fisher can be reached at (352) 374-5092 or fisherl@gvillesun.com.

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