Man shot in stomach during verbal dispute

Officials say victim in serious but stable condition

Published On: Feb 02 2014 03:34:12 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 03 2014 10:55:24 AM EST

The Clay County Sheriff's Office responded to a shooting Saturday night involving a person who officials say was shot by his brother-in-law. 

The Sheriff's Office and Clay County Fire Rescue responded to 2577 Huntington Way in Orange Park on Saturday at about 9:30 p.m. 

Deputies say the suspect, Riad Akel, 42, and his wife and children fled the scene to their residence about a block away. 

Akel was taken into custody while the victim, Maher Harb, was transported to UF Health Jacksonville, according to investigators. 

Officials say the two involved were having a verbal dispute when Akel walked outside the house, retrieved his 9mm pistol and walked back inside. They say he then waved the gun and began yelling at family members.

Investigators say that led to a physical brawl during which Akel shot Harb in his stomach. 

The Sheriff's Office says Akel is in jail charged with armed burglary and aggravated assault. The victim, Harb, is hospitalized at UF Health Jacksonville in serious but stable condition.