A drive-by shooting left a Republican headquarters in Volusia County, Florida riddled with bullets on Sunday night, Fox News reported.
According to Volusia County GOP Chair Tony Ledbetter, the building was hit at least four times during the shooting. All volunteers left the building at 4 p.m., however, so no one was injured. At least one window in the building was broken.
“I’m looking at the busted window that some nice Democrat did,” said Ledbetter Monday, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
“Republicans don’t have any beef about what we are doing. It’s the Democrats.”
The county’s Democratic Party chair, Jewel Dickson, also released a statement reacting to the shooting.
“It’s a sign of things going wrong. I would not be quick to blame a Democrat for doing that. It could be anybody angry.”
Police Captain Mark Cheatham said that police are investigating the shooting, though they do not have any witnesses or suspects. He reported that the bullets “entered low and then went high inside the office, making us think they were fired from a car,” adding that authorities are currently looking into the matter.
“Violence of any kind does not belong in our state and I appreciate law enforcement’s quick response to keep these Floridians safe,” said Florida Governor Rick Scott.
South Daytona PD Investigating someone shooting the windows out at the Volusia County Republican Headquarters. Worker arrived and noticed the damage pic.twitter.com/3egfAMzqX4— Mike Springer WFTV (@mspringerwftv) October 29, 2018
“Your party affiliation should never make you a target of gun violence,” says State Representative Patrick Henry (D), who commented on the situation just days after two separate incidents made national news and were, according to previous reports, motivated by party affiliation, religion, or race.
“As a nation, there is absolutely no place for violence in our political discourse. It’s unbelievable to me that we have reached a low in political discourse where volunteers for campaigns now have to fear for their safety…People should have the right to exercise their right of free speech without fear of retaliation.”
In the same week that the Florida drive-by took place, Cesar Sayoc, a Florida resident, was arrested for sending pipe bombs to several high-profile Democrats around the country, including former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Hillary Clinton. Sayoc made his first appearance in court on Monday. According to media reports, he is an avid Trump supporter.
It’s not clear if the drive-by shooting was motivated by the above events. Florida has been in the news for several high-profile mass shootings. Orlando Weekly reported that from June 2016 to today, there have been 51 mass shootings in the state. This led to 118 deaths.
Luckily, Sunday’s shooting harmed no one and will likely be treated as an act of vandalism. However, this could indicate that tensions and tempers are flaring in a state that often finds itself as a political battleground, with midterm elections just eight days away as of this writing.