GRINDSTONE (KDKA) — State police say a Fayette County man is now facing charges, accused of firing shots at a friend who was trying to return a gardening tool.

The incident happened outside of a home on Front Street in Grindstone. Officials say the suspect, 47-year-old James Hoddo, lived in a camper that used to be parked in the driveway.

State police in Belle Vernon say when the victim, Brad Bolin, went to return a rototiller Hoddo is accused of pulling out a gun and firing a shot.

“I don’t think he meant any harm. I think he just wanted to be left alone,” said Jean Dellapenna, a relative of the suspect. ”He has some medical problems.”

The victim took off running but returned at the urging of the suspect’s mother. When the victim returned, investigators say Hoddo fired another shot out of the front windshield of his camper.

“I think that if he wanted to hurt somebody he would have hurt him,” said Dellapenna. “I don’t think that was his intention.”

That’s a sentiment echoed by the suspect’s mother.

According to the criminal complaint, she told police that “her son is an excellent marksman with a weapon, and if he really wanted to shoot the victim he would have done so.”

The victim was not injured in the ordeal.

The suspect was flown to a Pittsburgh hospital after suffering what was believed to be a seizure.

State police in Belle Vernon charged Hoddo with aggravated assault, simple assault and reckless endangerment. He’ll be taken into custody after he’s released from the hospital.

Pennsylvania State Police
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