Victim, shot over a woman, speaks out after alleged attackers charged with attempted murder

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. - Two Indian River County men have been charged with attempted first degree murder, after authorities apprehended them after weeks of searching.

Robert Smith and Dominique Helms are behind bars at the Indian River County jail, each held on two million dollars bond.

According to arrest reports, they're facing multiple charges, including attempted 1st degree murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and possession of a firearm by a convicted delinquent.

Gunshot victim Avery Lee said he vividly remembers the pain of being shot, and having his arm shattered from a pistol-beating.

"The burning from being shot," Lee recalled. "My arm was broke from the inside, so I felt that, but just the initial burning from being hit so many times."

According to deputies, Lee was shot in both arms, and was hit in the head from a ricocheting bullet on July 7th, when three suspects attacked him at a Gifford store.

Lee admitted he was involved with one of the suspect's girlfriends, but couldn't believe they would resort to gunfire.

"Even after I was hit, I was still more in shock about the initial event, like, why we were even fighting," said Lee. "I don't believe this guy is trying to fight me about this chick."

Indian River County Sheriff Daryl Loar said since that day, authorities have been on the hunt for the two suspects that wielded guns.

Both Dominique Helms and Robert Smith were arrested Thursday.

"In cooperation with the U.S. Marshal's office, we were able to capture both of these suspects in Indian River County. One was hiding out in a hotel room, and one was south in Indian River County," said Sheriff Loar.

Lee said he tried to prevent anyone else from being hurt, because there were others around at the time of the attack.

"I asked them to put the guns away and I'll fight you each, because I said there are too many people up here at the store. I didn't want someone else to get shot because of our foolishness," Lee said.

Reports document that Helms responded to Lee, "I didn't come here to fight, I came here to kill."

Lee said he was angry at first over the incident, but now he only feels pity for the two young men, because he remembers what it was like when he was as young as they are.

But he said he hopes others learn from this:

"There's no coming back from guns. When you pull a firearm, there's no coming back from it, it's life or death. So if you can keep from pulling a firearm to settle a dispute, whether it's talking it out or just going the other way, that is definitely the best bet," said Lee.

Smith and Helms had their first appearance in court Friday morning.

Sheriff Loar said they could be looking at life sentences.

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