A 39-year-old man from Jacksonville was fatally shot in front of his family after they responded to a Facebook advertisement for a frelatiree puppy, his fiancee says.
Christopher “Scott” Bowman was shot in the chest and killed by a male suspect inside of his home June 7 as the rest of his family was forced to watch the altercation, his ex-wife and fiancee Chelsea told media outlets and police.
Police said that Bowman was shot “at least once” just before 9:50 p.m. June 7, and nobody has been charged in his death yet.
The family of four were seeking a puppy and had responded to the social media ad. What followed, however, is the gruesome death of Christopher, who preferred to go by his middle name, Scott.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Family Inquired on Facebook About a ‘Free’ Dog
Chelsea Bowman, Scott’s ex-wife but fiancee (the two were planning to re-marry), told police that the family had plans to get a dog, and they found their opportunity when they saw an advertisement posted on Facebook. It was a man that was offering a puppy to a good home completely free of charge.
According to Action News Jax, the couple told the man that they would come and pick up the dog, but he instead “insisted” on coming to their home to drop it off.
When the man arrived at their home on Macnaughton Drive in Jacksonville, Chelsea said they invited him inside of their home for a drink so they could thank him for offering the dog. Then, things took a turn for the worse, she said.
“The dude takes his shoes off and he stays and he doesn’t leave,” Chelsea said to the Jacksonville news outlet. “And it’s making everybody uncomfortable.”
When the couple told the man to leave their home because their 8-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son had to get some rest, the man reportedly refused and proceeded to get angry and drunk. That’s when he started to assault Scott.
“He gets very, very volatile, very, very drunk,” Chelsea told the news outlet. “(Scott) goes to use the bathroom and he waits for him. He comes out, and he grabs him and he starts beating him.
“I mean grabs him, slams him down. Scott was not winning this fight at all.”
2. Scott Was Shot & His Daughter Reportedly Cried out, ‘You Shot My Dad!’
After Scott was assaulted by the man that was supposed to be giving them a puppy, Chelsea said their 8-year-old daughter, Kinley, witnessed the man hold a gun to her father’s head. That’s when Scott apparently turned the gun on the man and shot him in the arm.
Scott got up and started to run, but the man shot him directly in the chest, Chelsea told Action News Jacksonville.
“Kinley was going ‘You shot my dad! You shot my dad!’” she said to the news outlet. “I said ‘Run! Go get help.’ I said ‘Baby, baby, please,’ trying to wake him up.”
When the two small children found their father deceased just a few feet away, Kinley reportedly said: “My dad, there’s blood everywhere.”
Police said that there was “at least” one bullet fired in the incident.
3. Authorities Arrived & Found a Man Outside of the Home
Chelsea said that she called authorities as the man left the home, and deputies from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office responded to their home a short while later. When they arrived, they found a man outside that told them he was involved in the shooting. The man was reportedly brought in for questioning by authorities in relation to the shooting.
Neighbors said that the man that was handcuffed had blood on his shirt.
In addition to the man being taken in for questioning, Chelsea and her two children were brought in as well. She told Action News Jacksonville that she could hear the man who admitted to playing a role in the shooting in the next room banging on the walls.
“When we got interrogated downtown he was like a maniac,” Chelsea said to the news station of the alleged shooter in the room next to them. “He was banging on the walls, cussing. At one point they had to switch us from one room so we wouldn’t hear this maniac.”
Authorities continued their investigation at the home almost one day later, and it’s still ongoing.
Scott’s mother Flora told The Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville that she was understandably devestated, but even more so because she hadn’t heard much information about her son’s death.
“We don’t know,” she said to the newspaper. “Police are still there and we haven’t heard anything, it is still sketchy.”
4. Neighbors Described Chelsea & Scott as Having Relationship Issues
CBS 47/FOX 30’s Amber Krycka spoke with neighbors of the Bowman family, and some of them said “they had their issues, off and on.”
While nobody has been formally charged in Scott’s death yet, Chelsea said that it was clearly the man that was brought into custody who committed the act, saying that she wants him charged.
“I miss him. I just want him back,” she told Action News Jacksonville. “I keep thinking it’s a horrible dream.”
Neighbor Jeff Wood told Action News Jacksonville that he knew of Scott as a good man that would never act in a violent manner.
“He’s a gentle guy, wouldn’t hurt anybody,” Wood said to the news outlet. “Scott was my friend. I loved that dude to death.”
5. Court Records Show a History of Domestic Abuse Between Scott & Chelsea
According to court records from the Duval County Clerk of Courts, Scott had history of domestic abuse.
In 1996, he was arrested on suspicion of aggravated domestic battery with a deadly weapon, however the felony charge ended up being dropped.
Chelsea and Scott divorced in 2008 but got back together in 2011, court records indicated. But things took a wrong turn in September 2016 when Scott was charged with domestic battery/causing bodily harm against Chelsea.
According to the criminal complaint, an officer responded to a report of domestic battery at their home and made immediate contact with Chelsea upon arriving. The two were divorced at the time, and Chelsea told police that they were in their master bedroom having an argument about their relationship. The arrest report said that Chelsea told Scott “You are 40-years old and you are not going to change, I just think we should go our separate ways now.”
When Scott heard her say that, he allegedly “flipped out,” Chelsea told officers.” He asked her for his “debit card” and ordered her and the children to “move out” of the house.
The two got into another argument minutes in the living room near their children, and Scott allegedly tried to choke Chelsea, she told police. She was observed with red marks around her neck, the responding officer wrote in the report.
One of the children reportedly said “please don’t hurt mommy anymore” while he did so, a criminal complaint stated.
Police arrested Scott, who told authorities that Chelsea was on mental health medication and previously “tried taking her own life.” He said that the argument started because he told her he “wasn’t going to buy her an e-cigarette juice pack.”
Both Scott and Chelsea admitted to consuming alcoholic beverages at the time of incident.
Scott was ordered to have no contact with Chelsea after he was arrested and the charges were eventually dropped. A temporary injunction was filed between the two parties but eventually dismissed about one week later on October 4, 2016.