An Estero man was arrested Wednesday after deputies say he tampered with evidence in a New Year’s Day shooting that seriously injured a man at a Waffle House in Collier County.
According to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, Derrick Earl Peart, 22, faces a charge of tampering with evidence after an investigation revealed he got rid of the gun that was used in the shooting.
Detectives say the shooting was an isolated incident that stemmed from a years-old altercation between two of the participants, who know each other. Peart was one of four people who attacked a man inside the Waffle House at 3824 Tollhouse Drive shortly after 5 a.m., according to arrest reports. The man then shot one of his attackers in the stomach.
The investigation found that Peart took possession of the gun during a struggle with the man who was attacked, reports said. He then placed the gun inside the vehicle of a friend who fled the scene.
“Due to Peart’s actions, the firearm has yet to be recovered, and it is unlikely to ever be recovered,” the arrest report states.
After Peart got rid of the gun, reports said, he drove the gunshot victim to the hospital. On the way to the hospital, he crashed the vehicle into a guardrail. Peart and the gunshot victim were taken to the hospital for treatment for their injuries. The gunshot victim has since been released, detectives said.
Peart also faces fraud charges after he was found to be in possession of personal identification belonging to other people without their permission. Detectives executed a search warrant on the vehicle Peart was driving and found medical insurance cards, medical paperwork, debit card paperwork and other IDs belonging to more than 20 people.