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Shots Fired into GOP Campaign Office in Volusia County; No One Hurt

October 30, 2018 - 6:00pm
Gunfire-damaged GOP office
Gunfire-damaged GOP office

At least four shots were fired into a Republican campaign office in Volusia County on Sunday or early Monday, police announced, after a campaign volunteer reported the shooting Monday morning. Thankfully, no one was working late inside the office at the time.

The bullets broke the front windows and displaced drywall inside the office, South Daytona police captain Mark Cheatham told the Orlando Sentinel. There were no eyewitnesses, but police are looking for surveillance footage to try to determine who is responsible.

The leadership of the Republican Party of Florida and the League of Women Voters of Florida issued statements Monday.

“Last night, we had a local Republican Victory Office in Volusia County shot at multiple times," said RPOF Chair Blaise Ingoglia. "It’s unbelievable to me that we have reached a low in political discourse where volunteers for campaigns now how to fear for their safety. 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.

“The RPOF is thankful no one was harmed in this shooting," Ingoglia continued. "But we must make one thing clear: Violence is NEVER the answer, under any circumstance. Thank you to Volusia County’s law enforcement for their quick response to keep Floridians safe. We will continue our efforts to ensure staff and volunteers feel secure in our offices, despite these concerning events.”

This is the League of Women Voters' statement: "News of early morning vandalism by gunfire at the Volusia County Republican Party headquarters has occurred as Americans everywhere are reeling from last week’s threats to Democratic officials, media, and Saturday’s horrific mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. To begin the week -- any week -- with gun violence of any kind is unacceptable. In this case, the GOP office in South Daytona was the apparent target.

"The League of Women Voters of Florida and the Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence condemn all forms of domestic terrorism. The hatred that is consuming our state and country helps no one and hurts us all. We call on all Floridians to join us in our condemnation of these acts and commit to a renewed effort to maintain the peace of our communities. Lives are counting on it."

The Sunday night incident comes after a gunman murdered 11 congregants at a Pittsburgh synagogue Saturday morning. The alleged assailant, Robert Bowers, who eventually surrendered to police, reportedly yelled, “all Jews must die,” during the attack.

Also, a number of prominent Democratic lawmakers and wealthy liberal donors were targeted by mail bombs last week. Police have identified the attacker as Cesar Sayoc, a middle-aged South Florida man and outspoken Trump supporter.

President Trump, meanwhile, whose rhetoric has been blamed for the attacks by Democratic lawmakers and many in the media, called the spate of violence “despicable.”

“In these times we have to unify,” he said. “We have to come together and send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America.”

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