Dude shoots dude in the head and walks.
"The gun just went off."
Sure, happens all the time.Article:
Angelo Caviasca's brain died in real time, days before his heart quit. Multiple cameras digitally recorded the fatal gunshot at 03:17:34 on March 1, 2002.
People all around him scattered, including a woman he had been hugging. She lost two fingertips to the blast of buckshot.
Winter Park police declared what happened a crime, but prosecutors hedged. Negligence certainly contributed, but Orange-Osceola State Attorney Lawson Lamar's staff didn't find enough evidence to take the case to a jury.
Officially, the death was no different from dozens of deadly accidents that happen across Central Florida every year at construction sites, on the roads and in homes.
But as people tell Filomena Caviasca that life isn't fair, that bad things happen to good people like her son, she still questions how a drug dealer's shotgun riddled her son without shattering some law.
"What justice? There is no justice," said Caviasca, of Altamonte Springs. "It was stupidity or negligence or whatever you want to call it."
Caviasca still wakes up as her bedside clock ticks down to 3:17 a.m. each night. And chance encounters with young men who look like her son freeze her heart.
"If he's big and strong like Angelo, I want to say: 'Just let me hold you. You look like my son,' " she said. "But I can't do that. It's like losing your mind."
A 2-inch stack of police reports, tabulated like a study Bible, document her son's death. The file in a three-ring binder carries a promise on the cover: "Angelo's memory will never grow old."
Revelry turns to tragedy
The night he stopped living was a swirl of parties, loud music and louder talk by muscular men and women who frequent weight rooms, health clubs and commercial gymnasiums.
Starting that night at the Roxy nightclub in Orlando, Angelo Caviasca, a 28-year-old car-insurance salesman, joined friends in the VIP lounge splitting a $150 bottle of vodka and two bottles of Dom Perignon champagne, interviews by police later showed.
The club's closure at 3 a.m. spilled revelers onto Bennett Road looking for an after-hours party. Most were bodybuilders. They included Marcus Haley, a personal trainer from Tampa, along with a World Gym owner, a developer from Ocala and two major drug dealers.
Drew Moyer -- who would be arrested within a year and sent to federal prison for helping distribute more than 15,000 pounds of Mexican marijuana between Jacksonville and Orlando -- invited everyone back to his condo in Winter Park.
Police records and interviews do not indicate whether Caviasca or most of the others knew that their host and fellow bodybuilder was a drug dealer.
Reaching the residence on Bungalow Avenue, the cast of a dozen spread out in the moments before they became witnesses to the tragedy.
All of their movements were captured by a high-tech surveillance system that Moyer installed after burglars had stolen a safe weeks earlier.
Some of the guests stayed on the ground floor. Others headed upstairs.
Three cocked, loaded firearms waited on a ledge by the second-floor landing, where Haley and another guest began aiming the weapons like prospective buyers.
Haley lowered the 12-gauge, pistol-grip shotgun in his right hand toward the floor, while downstairs Caviasca crossed the living-room floor to greet Adrienn Konczos.
The ceiling above them exploded.
Nine buckshot pellets sprayed the pair.
Out of the nine, two lodged in Caviasca's brain. A third ripped through his chest and into his liver. Two more hit Konczos' left arm and left hand. The last two clipped off the tips of two fingers on her right hand.
Caviasca died six days later, on March 7, without regaining consciousness.
The police investigation that followed showed Haley, licensed to carry a pistol in Nevada, violated two of the most important firearms-safety rules: Assume every gun is cocked and loaded. Never handle guns after drinking.
Haley, who admitted drinking three or four cocktails, did not appear intoxicated after the shooting, records show. Nor were he or the other guests tied to a large cache of anabolic steroids, other illegal drugs and more than $100,000 cash hidden in the condo.
He swore he didn't intentionally pull the trigger.
"It went off. I didn't squeeze it or nothing," Haley said in a telephone interview. "It just went off. It just went off."
Unsupported by state law
An investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement supported Haley's account of what happened.
When the massive 5-foot-9-inch bodybuilder weighing more than 230 pounds lowered the shotgun to the floor, he told investigators, its weight rested on his trigger finger.
Testing showed 6 to 6.5 pounds of pressure were needed to pull the trigger. Unloaded, it weighed 5.62 pounds. Loaded with seven rounds of buckshot, it weighed 6.41 pounds -- enough to pull the trigger.
Winter Park police took that into account along with the drinking and handling a gun without checking to see whether it was loaded and ready to fire. They recommended to the State Attorney's Office that Haley be arrested on charges of manslaughter for Caviasca's death and culpable negligence for Konczos' injuries.
Prosecutors declined, citing case law showing it is not a crime in Florida if someone is intoxicated and unintentionally injures or kills another while playing with a firearm.
In the years since, Filomena Caviasca failed to find a lawyer to sue Moyer, who is serving 78 months in prison for distributing marijuana, or Haley, a professional bodybuilder and the reigning "Mr. North America" and "Mr. USA" in the super-heavyweight class.
"It's an accident to me if you drop something and it breaks. Not if you kill somebody," she said. "If it was an accident, how come nobody apologized? If they came to the funeral, no one said anything to me."
Reached through a gymnasium in Tampa, Haley said friends warned him to stay away from Caviasca's burial.
"If by any means that I could give her peace or resolution or closure at any level, of course, I'd be more than obliged to sit down with her," he said. "There's not a day that goes by that I don't think of Angelo."