Bullets fired into Republican office in Florida

At least four bullets fired into Republican Party office in South Daytona. No one injured.

Ben Ariel ,

Police line (illustration)
Police line (illustration)

At least four bullets were fired on Monday into a Republican Party office in Florida, officials said, according to The Washington Post.

The Volusia County Republican Party office in South Daytona was empty at the time of the shooting and no one was injured, South Daytona Police Captain Mark Cheatham told the newspaper.

A volunteer arrived at the headquarters, which is located in a small strip mall, on Monday morning to find that a front window was smashed into pieces. Police determined that the window had been shot through after finding four bullets inside the office, in the wall and on the floor, Cheatham said.

Police believe that the shooting occurred between 4:00 p.m. Sunday, the last time a person was at the office, and 9:00 a.m. Monday. Photographs of the office posted by reporters show that its windows are plastered with signs for the Republican Party and candidates.

Cheatham said the office had yet to confirm a motive or identify a suspect in the shooting, and had not found video evidence or any witnesses yet, either.

The incident follows last week’s series of incidents in which packages with pipe bombs were mailed to people associated with the Democratic party.

Cesar Sayoc, a 56-year-old Florida man, was arrested on Friday after officials said he mailed bombs to 13 prominent Democrats and media organizations.

Among those targeted were Democratic philanthropist George Soros, former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as well as former President Barack Obama.

A suspicious package, believed to have been sent to former CIA Director John Brennan, was received at the offices of CNN in New York.

On Thursday, a suspicious package was sent to the address of former Vice President Joe Biden. Actor Robert De Niro also reportedly was mailed a similar package.

Sayoc was charged with five federal crimes, including interstate transportation of an explosive, illegal mailing of explosives, threats against former presidents and other persons, threatening interstate commerce and assaulting federal officers. He faces up to 58 years in prison.

Tony Ledbetter, the chairman of the Volusia County Republican Party, told The Washington Post that he blamed Democrats for Monday’s shooting at the office.

“That’s the only people who would do this," he said. “The sick Democrats.”

Ledbetter added that volunteers at the office working on get-out-the-vote efforts in advance of the midterm elections next week were already getting back to work, though he planned to arrange for 24-hour armed security through the election.

Jewel Dickson, the chairwoman of the Volusia Democratic Party, told the Daytona Beach News-Journal that the shooting was “appalling.”

“It’s a sign of things going wrong," she said. “I would not be quick to blame a Democrat for doing that. It could be anybody angry.”

“An attack on one of us, is an attack on all of us, and everyone should feel safe participating in our Democracy,” she said in a statement.

Democratic state Rep. Patrick Henry, who represents the area, condemned the shooting in a statement quoted by The Washington Post.

“After one of the deadliest 72 hours in America, I’m angry to learn that shots were fired at a Republican Party field office in my district,” he said. “Your party affiliation should never make you a target of gun violence.”