Haines City Police Department Press Release
William Kennedy Gilbert, 53, turned himself in to the Polk County Jail late Thursday afternoon on charges of attempted first-degree murder.
After arriving in his black pickup, Gilbert went into the backyard of a home on 7th St. where the victim, Saleem Al-Banna, was with friends and shot him with a handgun, striking Al-Banna in the stomach, about 5:15 p.m. on Wednesday. Gilbert then got into his black pickup and drove away.
Al-Banna was able to make it to his truck to drive to a friend’s house less than a mile away. The friend called police and advised that the men were involved in a “love triangle” with a woman.
The victim was transported to a hospital where he underwent surgery to remove the bullet, which pierced his stomach, small intestine and kidney. The kidney was surgically removed. His current condition is serious but stable.
“While the injuries are significant, we’re thankful that Mr. Al-Banna survived this terrible incident,” Chief Jim Elensky said. “Our officers and detectives did great work on this case and I’m really proud of them.”
Police responded to the initial scene, the house where the victim drove to, to Gilbert’s home, to Gilbert’s family’s home and to the house of the woman in question. The woman told police that Gilbert is her ex-boyfriend of 10 years and tends to get jealous when she talks to other people. She told police that she and the victim are just friends.
Witnesses, who were at the scene of the shooting, was able to identify Gilbert as the shooter. Gilbert’s truck was parked at the family’s home, but he was not located. The family allowed police to search the residence and advised that Gilbert dropped the truck off before leaving shortly after.