Pahokee mayor says he was shot at outside of his home

Suspect took off running

PAHOKEE, Fla. - Mayor J.P. Sasser said a gunman was hiding in a bush on his property and was shooting at him next to his back door.

When the shots were fired the mayor said he didn't run, he pulled out his gun, but didn't fire it.

"I'm fine," Sasser said. "I just wish I would've used (the gun)."

There are three bullet holes in his fence, which serve as reminders to a night he'll never forget.

"When it was actually happening I thought, 'I can't believe there is a guy standing over there 30 feet away in the bushes shooting at me,' " he said.

His next thought was to hide behind a small table by the door and pulling out his gun before calling 911.

"It pissed me off," Sasser said. "It may have been stupid on my part, but I was at no time afraid."

Though he said he wasn't afraid, he didn't fire back at the alleged shooter after seeing the person in the bushes before he ran away.

"It was my first gun fight so I didn't exactly know what the rules were," he said.

But mayor Sasser said the shots may be result of the way he has ruled his city. Through different ordinances and initiatives, he says his city has worked with the sheriff's office on cracking down on alleged gang violence.

"I think that element, that group that doesn't like our success in that area has chosen to do something about it," the mayor said. "And the term I was told is a 'trophy target.'"

That's what he says deputies told him he may be to whomever shot at him, but Sasser said he isn't worried.

"I am not stupid," he said. "I'm not going to live my life looking over my shoulder in any way shape or form."

An action he said he wants his citizens to follow.

"Don't allow yourself to be intimidated by thugs," mayor Sasser added.

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