By Chuck Sharman
An off-duty Florida prison guard was arrested on June 7, 2023, after he allegedly shot a woman several times outside her home.
Wilner Cyprien, 31, a state Department of Corrections (DOC) guard at Martin Correctional Institution in Indiantown, was allegedly waiting outside the woman’s home in a Vero Beach apartment complex when she arrived.
“She recognized that the situation was about to get bad,” according to Indian River County Sheriff Eric Flowers. “She tried to drive away, and he fired at her through the vehicle, shot her as she was fleeing from the scene.”
The victim was airlifted to a Fort Pierce hospital, where she was reportedly in stable condition later that same day.
After the shooting, Cyprien sped away in a red Dodge Durango SUV. Driving into adjacent St. Lucie County, he led law enforcement on a chase that ended at a Fort Pierce park. When deputies of St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara caught up with Cyprien, he made an apparent suicide attempt, holding the “weapon that was used to his head,” Flowers said. The prison guard was then subdued with a stun gun.
Sheriff Mascara’s detectives said they ultimately obtained a confession from Cyprien that indicated jealousy over the woman and her relationship with an unnamed third person motivated the shooting.
“So far, we believe, at this this time, that this was a love triangle situation,” Sheriff Flowers said. “He believed that his girlfriend was cheating on him, and he believed that shooting this person would exact revenge.”
Sheriff Mascara boasted that his “deputies and detectives were in the right place and right time to assist the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office with the arrest of this suspect.”
Cyprien is being held at the St. Lucie County Jail. The name of the injured woman was not released because she invoked the state’s version of Marsy’s Law, which provides crime victims “the right to prevent the disclosure of information or records that could be used to locate or harass” them or their families.
Sheriff Flowers said his office is working with the state attorney on charges for Cyprien, which will probably include attempted murder, aggravated assault, and fleeing and eluding law enforcement officers.
Sources: Daily Beast, WQCS
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