Shots fired at Florida Republican Party office

Police are investigating after gunshots were fired into a Florida Republican Party office overnight Sunday....

Posted: Oct 30, 2018 9:33 AM
Updated: Oct 30, 2018 9:33 AM

Police are investigating after gunshots were fired into a Florida Republican Party office overnight Sunday.

Four rounds crashed through the glass storefront of the office in Volusia County late Sunday night or early Monday, Sgt. Bryan Craig of the South Daytona Police Department said. No one was inside at the time.

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There is no surveillance video and no shell casings were recovered, but investigators did recover one projectile, Craig said.

Two bullets shattered a large plate glass window, before lodging in walls, CNN affiliate WESH reported. The other bullets went through a smaller window, the network reported.

Staff arriving Monday morning initially thought something had been thrown through the windows.

"We live in a free society and we should fight our battles on November 6," Tony Ledbetter, chairman of the Volusia County Republican Party, told WESH. "If you've got issues with us show up on November 6 and vote. Vote us out or vote us in -- it makes me mad that somebody would to this."

Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) Chairman Blaise Ingoglia condemned the attack, saying "violence is never the answer, under any circumstance."

"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," he said. "We stand against any type of violence against any volunteer, Republican or Democrat. People should have the right to exercise their right of free speech without fear of retaliation."

Ingoglia praised law enforcement's quick response and said the party would continue to make efforts to ensure its staff and volunteers felt safe and secure in its offices.

Craig said the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had reached out to South Daytona Police and the investigation into the incident was ongoing.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers have spoken out against political violence over the past week after a series of pipe bombs were sent to leading Democrats.

The attempted attacks prompted calls by some for divisive political rhetoric to be toned down.

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