On December 03, 2023, at 10:53pm Auburndale Police Department officers responded to the area of the 7-11 gas station located at 420 Magnolia Avenue in reference to a shooting call. While officers were enroute, a separate call for service came in about a person who had been shot at the Best Western Hotel located at 1008 Highway 92 West in Auburndale. Officers arrived on scene at the Best Western and located a Hispanic male lying in the parking lot with a single gunshot wound to his abdomen area. The male was responsive to law enforcement and Polk County Fire Rescue was summoned to render medical aidto the subject. The subject was later transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Through the course of the investigation, it was determined the incident occurred at the 7-11 gas station on Magnolia Avenue. Officers responded to the location and located the shooter as well as several eyewitnesses to the incident. The gas station was also equipped with surveillance video which captured the incident. Upon review of the surveillance video and with eyewitness testimony it was determined the shooting was in self-defense. The cause of the incident is unknown as the victim and subject have no prior encounters with each other.
The subject was identified as Juan Jose Martinez (36) from San Marcos, Texas. Martinez, who was shot, was determined to have committed a burglary conveyance with a battery (1st degree felony) when he reached into the vehicle where the victim was seated and struck him in the face. Due to unknown threats thatmay follow from Martinez, the victim was placed in a well found fear for his life, the victim protected himself by firing one (1) round from a handgun, striking him in the abdomen. Auburndale Police Department detectives arrested Martinez. Once Martinez is released from the hospital, he will be transported to the Polk County Jail.
Martinez was charged with burglary with battery, a first-degree felony.
At this time we are not releasing the name of the victim due to Marsy’s Law.
If anyone has any information regarding the incident, please contact Detective Adair at (863) 965-5555, or if you have information and would like to remain anonymous, call Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-400-TIPS (8477).