DeLand, FL – Investigators are trying to find whoever fired bullets into three Deland Police Department vehicles and a van used by the agency’s Police Athletic League to transport children to a nearby tutoring program.
The damage was discovered just after 10 a.m. Sunday (December 16th) in a parking lot just to the east of the DeLand PD headquarters building on West Howry Boulevard, according to the incident report.
Agency spokesperson Chris Graham says an officer who went to change out a flat tire on the front driver’s side of the PAL van found what looked like a bullet hole in the right rear door of the van, just below the window.
“[The bullet went] through the bench seats inside. A spare K-9 vehicle, Crime Scene van and Community Service Aide vehicle also sustained varying degrees of damage,” Graham added. “The van had recently been purchased through a joint effort with The House Next Door and is utilized to transport elementary-aged children to the House Next Door’s tutoring program.”
No injuries were reported.
DeLand police did find a bullet inside the van and another in the K-9 vehicle, which appeared to have a bullet hole in the molding on the left rear driver’s side door. Another appears to have been found inside the flat tire on the PAL van, but police say they won’t know for sure until the tire is completely removed from the vehicle.
Officers also found another bullet in a tree near that parking lot and what appeared to be damage from bullets to another tree as well as the DeLand PD Crime Scene van and Community Service Aide vehicle.
Based on testimony from nearby residents, DeLand PD thinks the shots may have been fired around 2:30 a.m. Sunday – around eight hours before the damage was spotted – from a vehicle with a loud muffler.
At least one of those witnesses told DeLand PD it sounded like “someone emptied a whole clip of ammunition” while another testified that she heard at least four or five shots, per the incident report.
DeLand PD hasn’t said what kind of vehicle is being sought, nor has the department released any suspect details.