A 66-year-old Florida man’s life may have been saved by a car crash the same day his 22-year-old roommate and a friend attempted to murder him.
Paul T. Holloway was taken to the hospital last week following a car accident on Dec. 8, when first responders saw a small wound on his head. Although the injury appeared minor, Holloway was transported to the hospital, where emergency room doctors made a startling discovery: a bullet was lodged in his brain.
Holloway told investigators he didn’t realize he had been shot, police said. He said he was awakened by the gunshot, but just thought he had had a stroke, which caused a head injury. He did not seek medical attention.
When he left his house later that day, he started out driving south to an address that didn’t exist in that direction, a mental lapse that was evidently caused by the bullet in his head, Cocoa Beach Police Maj. Jay Harmon told ABC News. It’s not clear whether the crash was a direct result of the bullet, although Harmon says that seems likely.
Now, Holloway’s 22-year-old roommate and another man have been arrested for attempted murder.
During the investigation into the shooting, Holloway’s roommate Paul Anthony Edwards Jr. made statements to police that implicated himself and his friend Christopher M. Martin in the crime, Harmon said.
Eventually, following questioning, the two men both admitted to planning the murder together, but each blames the other for actually pulling the trigger, according to police.
“They tried to get their stories straight, and the stories line up, up to the actual shooting. They’re blaming each other for that,” Harmon said.
There’s no relation between Holloway and Edwards, and police say they aren’t sure how the 22-year-old and 66-year-old came to be roommates in the first place.
The murder plan came about because Edwards wanted a new roommate, and had plans to collect on Holloway’s social security checks, Harmon said. Police have yet to recover the gun, which they believe was stolen.
It is unclear whether Edwards or Martin have obtained a lawyer to represent them. Edwards spoke to NBC-affiliate WESH from the Brevard County Jail. In the interview, he said he told his friend that Holloway was living on Social Security, but didn’t mean for this to happen.
“I knew what his intention was. I was just taking it as a joke the whole time,” Edwards said, adding that he was afraid when Martin allegedly pulled the trigger.
“I’m guilty by association of being there with him. I admit I didn’t stop it. I should have stopped it.”
WESH says Martin initially accepted their interview request, but then changed his mind.
Both men are being held without bail in the county jail. Holloway is still in critical condition at a local hospital.