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Firefighter Shot By Friend Trying To Sell Him Gun

Palm Beach Gardens, FL – A Palm Beach County firefighter was fatally shot while meeting with a friend about a potential firearms purchase the night before the Presidential election.

The incident occurred at the home of 63-year-old Jay Rind on the night of Nov. 2, the Associated Press reported.

Rind allegedly told police that he and his friend, Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue Captain James Gilliard, had gone out to dinner that night before heading to Rind’s place so Capt. Gilliard could look at two guns Rind wanted to sell.

Rind said he was planning to move to Mexico, so he wanted to sell the weapons, the Associated Press reported.

He said he told Capt. Gilliard he would give him the “deal of his lifetime,” according to police.

Rind was showing the captain a Taurus 87 .38-caliber revolver when he inadvertently fired the weapon from approximately four feet away, striking Capt. Gilliard in the torso, the Associated Press reported.

Rind immediately called 911 and begged dispatchers to hurry because he had just shot his friend, according to police.

Capt. Gilliard was rushed to St. Mary’s Medical Center, where he ultimately succumbed to his gunshot wound, WPTV reported.

Investigators located the Taurus sitting on a desk and Rind allegedly told police he had placed it there after Capt. Gilliard was shot, according to the Associated Press.

Police said they found a second gun in a bedroom and a third inside a desk.

Capt. Gilliard’s wife confirmed that her husband had gone to meet with Rind to talk about buying the guns, according to police.

Rind said they did not argue or have any problems prior to the shooting.

He was booked into jail on Nov. 4 on a charge of second-degree murder, the Associated Press reported.

Rind has since been charged with improper exhibition of a firearm and manslaughter, WPTV reported.

His bond was set at $20,000 and the judge ordered him to surrender his passport and other “travel documents,” according to the Associated Press.

Capt. Gilliard’s career as a firefighter began in 1996 when he joined the Martin County Fire Rescue, according to a fundraising campaign established to help his family in the wake of their loss.

He had been serving the Palm Beach County Fire Rescue since 1999.

Capt. Gilliard leaves behind his wife, Michelle, and his children, Olivia and Benton.

He was laid to rest on Saturday, according to his obituary.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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