Florida Keys

Florida Keys man shoots at cops in wild chase; deputy grazed

Investigators check Robert Schminsky’s Lexus after a wild police chase in Key Largo, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015. Schminsky allegedly fired a shotgun at deputies several times during the pursuit.
Investigators check Robert Schminsky’s Lexus after a wild police chase in Key Largo, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015. Schminsky allegedly fired a shotgun at deputies several times during the pursuit. CBS4

A Key Largo man savagely beat his wife and then led two Monroe County sheriff’s deputies and a Florida Highway Patrol trooper on a wild police chase early Wednesday morning, firing at them several times and grazing one of the deputies, according to authorities.

The drama began when Keys deputies responded to a domestic dispute involving a firearm just before midnight at 52 Buttonwood Drive in Key Largo.

When deputies arrived, they could hear a woman crying for help and found Robert Schminky, 57, in the front yard of his home.

With a .semi-automatic shotgun pointed at the ground, Schminky walked away from the deputies and fired it into the ground twice, according to the sheriff’s office. Deputies told him to drop the gun. He then got into his white Lexus SUV and drove off.

Deputies chased Schminky as he drove his car first north on U.S. 1 and then onto County Road 905 before suddenly making a U-turn at Valois Boulevard. As he passed the patrol car going the opposite way, Schminky shot at the deputy, who then returned fire, sheriff’s spokeswoman Becky Herrin said.

Schminky continued south on U.S. 1 before pulling into the parking lot of a Circle K convenience store at mile marker 106, where he rammed a parked FHP trooper’s car. He then fired several shots into the trooper’s car, Herrin said.

The deputy in pursuit then got out of his car, took cover and engaged Schminky.

“He heard a gunshot and felt pain in his upper right leg,” Herrin said.

In the standoff, a bullet grazed the deputy on his upper right leg. The FHP trooper suffered a minor arm injury from the collision.

Schminky was not done yet.

Herrin said he pulled out of the parking lot, drove south and eventually stopped at Saint Justin Church at mile marker 105.

Schminky then pointed his gun at another deputy, who fired several shots at him, Herrin said. He then ran away into a nearby wooded area, with deputies chasing him. Along the way, he dropped his gun. He was arrested when deputies caught up with him.

Schminky’s wife, Honour, was found covered in blood in the front yard of their home. She had been beaten with the stock of the shotgun so severely that it broke her arm, her wrist and some ribs, as well as the shotgun, Herrin said. She also suffered a head injury and other internal injuries. Honour later told detectives she believes that her husband would have killed her if authorities had not arrived when they did.

Investigators found a Smith and Wesson .44 magnum revolver with six fired shell casings and six fired shell casings in Schminky’s car.

He was taken to Plantation Key jail and later transferred to Key West jail, where he is being held.

Schminky was charged with attempting to murder his wife, three counts of attempting to murder law enforcement officers, aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, discharging a firearm in public and fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer.

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