“This appears to be a tragic accident,” Teri Barbera, spokeswoman for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office calls the shooting death of 46-year-old Lawrence Ramdass. The Plantation man was fishing while in a boat in the Holey Land Wildlife Management Area when he was struck by a shower of gunfire, one .45 caliber bullet hitting him in the chest.
The deadly incident which occurred last July, left investigators wondering how such a thing could happen and just who could be responsible.
A state wildlife officer reported having seen and questioned two men near the area around the time of the shooting. But the officer rushed off to try to help Ramdass. He worked with a Sheriff’s Office sketch artist to help identify the men.
Detectives located “evidence that appeared to be fresh” and were able to obtain fingerprints from it.
The investigation led detectives to Ricardo Galvan, who told them he had been target shooting along with his friend, Christian Salcedo. The two had shot there several times.
The area is well known to officials as being an illegal target practice range. A previously published review noted that “state law enforcement records found that 125 people have been caught illegally firing guns in that area, with all but three let off with warnings.”
Both Galvan and Salcedo were cooperative with authorities. Galvan voluntarily surrendered his .45 caliber gun for testing, according to the Sheriff’s office. Both men said they had taken turns shooting the gun throughout the day.
Ramdass and the boat were approximately one-third of a mile away behind heavy brush and tall grass, according to the Sheriff’s Office. His position was further concealed from the target range by the target berm.
“Galvan and Salcedo expected that no one would, or even could be behind the berm that they were shooting at. Although Galvan and Salcedo were cooperative, it cannot be determined who fired the fatal shot that struck and killed Lawrence.”
Since detectives could not determine which man fired the fatal shot and there was no evidence of criminal intent, there were no charges made against Galvan or Salcedo.
“PBSO detectives met with members of the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office and all agreed that there is no probable cause for an arrest at this time.” according to Teri Barbera, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office. She added that the shooting “appears to be a tragic accident.”