The Clewiston News

Canadian tourist shot in Harlem

Joseph Cooksey

A Canadian tourist was shot in the face after several men tried to rob him in Harlem last week, the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office reports.

Joseph Cooksey, 46, of Clewiston, was arrested on Nov. 25 in connection with the shooting and charged with robbery with a firearm and attempted murder.

The shooting took place one day before Cooksey’s arrest on Nov. 24 at around 4:40 p.m.

Deputies responded to 7th Street and Georgia Avenue where Commissioner Janet B. Taylor, who had called 911, was standing with the victim, according to an arrest report released by the sheriff’s office.

The victim, Michel Malo, 64, of Canada, was sitting in the drivers side of his Ford F-150 holding his right ear when deputies arrived. His ear was covered in blood and he reportedly told deputies, “they shoot, they shoot.”

Deputies removed his hand from his ear to see how bad the wound was and saw he had a hole in his cheek, according to the report.

Malo apparently spoke little English and deputies were unable to get information from him regarding the incident. He was transported to Lee Memorial Hospital for treatment and was met by a translator who helped him write a witness statement.

According to the statement, Malo was lost when a group of men flagged him down and surrounded his truck. One of the men reportedly came to his passenger door demanding money and brandishing a handgun.

When Malo told the man he didn’t have money, the man tried to open the glove compartment but Malo confronted him. That is when the man reportedly shot Malo in the cheek.

When the shot rang out, people reportedly started running and Malo laid on the horn of his truck to get help.

At the hospital, deputies showed Malo a photo lineup of six subjects. Malo reportedly identified Joseph Cooksey as the man who shot him.

Video surveillance of the incident was also reportedly reviewed by deputies, who positively identified Cooksey as the shooter.

At around 2:45 p.m. on Nov. 25, deputies allegedly found Cooksey hiding in a car and arrested him. He was charged with robbery with a firearm and attempted murder.

He is currently being held in the Hendry County Jail on $200,000 bond.