Fight Between Friends Over Pool Pump Led To Deadly Shooting, Sheriff Says

A Florida man is accused of fatally shooting his friend on Saturday after the two got into an argument over a pool pump, Osceola County Sheriff Marcos Lopez said Monday at a news conference.

Joseph Beck, 29, was inside his parked car in the driveway of a home in St. Cloud, in central Florida, when a man whom authorities identified as 28-year-old Joshua Miller walked up and repeatedly yelled, “Where’s my pool pump?” Lopez said, citing video of the interaction that was captured by a surveillance camera.

Miller’s mother gave deputies the surveillance footage and identified her son as the suspect, according to an arrest warrant obtained by HuffPost.

The gunman is seen in the video kicking the driver’s side door before opening it and striking Beck in the head multiple times with the butt of his gun, Lopez said. The gunman then fired one shot into Beck’s torso.

Joseph Beck's photo is shared on a GoFundMe page posted by his ex-wife.
Joseph Beck's photo is shared on a GoFundMe page posted by his ex-wife. GoFundMe

According to the arrest warrant, surveillance footage from another camera showed the gunman running into a shed behind the home, wiping “an object” with a towel, then running into a wooded area, empty-handed.The sheriff’s office has not released the footage to the media.

An unidentified caller reported Saturday thatsomeone had been shot in a vehicle in the driveway of the home. When first responders arrived, Beck was found in the vehicle and taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Deputies looked for Miller throughout the night, and the sheriff’s office released a photo of him as it sought assistance from the public, Lopez said. After receiving a number of tips, Miller was found early Sunday morning and arrested.

Lopez said that Miller confessed to the shooting following his arrest and is facing preliminary charges of murder with a firearm and burglary.

When Lopez was asked at the news conference if Miller might not have intended for the pistol to go off, Lopez responded, “That’s not for me to decide. There’s a lot of different possibilities that could have happened during this incident, but the moral of this story is don’t pistol whip somebody.”

“This isn’t a mobster movie or Grand Theft Auto or a video game,” Lopez added. “This is real life, and if you don’t know how to properly handle a firearm, you shouldn’t be holding one, especially beating someone with it.”

According to court records, Miller has not yet entered a plea on the charges, and no court date has been set.

Miller is being represented by the public defender’s office, which did not immediately respond to a request from HuffPost for comment.

Brittany Harrell, Beck’s ex-wife and the mother of his three children, told WESH-TV in Orlando that the incident did not make sense to her since Beck and Miller had been close friends.

“They’ve actually been really close, hanging out every other day, taking photos with my children together,” Harrell told the TV station. “We just saw Joey two days ago, and he didn’t mention nothing, and he normally would when something — he would blurt it out like, ‘I’m having a problem.’”

Harrell told WESH that their children are struggling to come to terms with Beck’s death. She has launched a GoFundMe campaign to offset funeral expenses.