ORANGE CITY, Fla. — Police in Florida are investigating a shooting earlier this month that killed a pregnant library assistant, who witnesses said pulled a gun on a motorcyclist she purposely hit with her car.
Sara Nicole Morales, 35, of Orange City, was shot multiple times Nov. 20 in a confrontation outside her home. She was taken to Halifax Health Medical Center, where she died of her wounds.
Morales was a library assistant with the Volusia County Public Library. Two of the library system’s 14 branches closed for several days last week to mourn her death.
Body-worn camera footage obtained by WFTV in Orlando shows part of the aftermath of the killing. Orange City police officers, weapons drawn, approach gunman Andrew Derr and order him to the ground.
Derr, 40, complies.
“That girl tried to kill me,” Derr calls out to the approaching officers. “She pointed a gun at me.”
Orange City police officials said the incident began shortly after 5 p.m. that day, when dispatchers received a call about a hit-and-run crash about a mile from Morales’ home.
“This was a minor crash,” authorities said in a statement. “Derr was not injured or ejected from his motorcycle.”
In 911 calls released by Orange County police officials, a dispatcher asks for the cyclist’s condition.
“Is the motorcycle down on the ground?” she asks. “Is he breathing and conscious?”
“He’s fine,” the caller responds. “The lady just took off and left.”
Multiple witnesses, including Derr, followed Morales’ blue Kia to the next intersection, where they told her to stop because police were on the way.
“Verbal contact was made with Morales for her to pull over for the arrival of law enforcement,” the police statement said. “Morales refused and was able to make the left turn onto E. Wisconsin Avenue when traffic permitted.”
Derr and the other witnesses continued to follow Morales, stopping in the roadway in front of her home and calling 911 to have police respond to that area.
Morales, who by that time had also called 911, went into the house and reemerged with a gun in her hand. According to audio obtained by WFTV, Morales claimed the men were being aggressive and had threatened her.
She pointed her weapon at Derr and the other witnesses, authorities said.
“You’re three men. You followed me. Leave me alone,” Morales shouts as gunfire erupts in the background.
At least eight gunshots can be heard in the audio.
Listen to the 911 audio below, courtesy of WFTV.
“What’s that?” the dispatcher asks.
Authorities said it was Derr.
“Derr, having a valid Florida concealed weapons permit, drew his concealed handgun and fired multiple rounds, striking Morales,” authorities said. “Morales’ handgun was recovered on-scene.”
A few moments later, Morales’ mother is heard talking to the dispatcher on her daughter’s phone.
“My daughter. She’s been shot. My daughter’s been shot,” the frantic-sounding woman says before giving the address of the home.
“Get here immediately! She’s pregnant!” Morales’ mother screams.
When the officers arrive, their bodycam footage shows Derr lying facedown on the gravel road, his arms stretched out in surrender. His handgun can be seen on the ground near his leg.
“Don’t move!” a female officer is heard shouting.
“I’m not moving!” he calls back.
“Stay right where you are, OK? I’m not going to shoot you. Just keep listening to what I’m telling you, OK?” the officer states.
The officer and a colleague continue approaching, asking Derr for his first name. As they get closer, he tells them that Morales tried to kill him.
Watch the footage of Andrew Derr being taken into custody below, courtesy of Fox 5 in New York.
“OK, all right, just relax,” the officer responds.
“I’m so sorry,” Derr tells them.
He continues apologizing as two officers place him in handcuffs.
“She tried to kill me. And those other people, I think they had guns, too,” he says.
According to authorities, Derr has been fully cooperative with the investigation. As of Tuesday, no charges had been filed against him.
Orange City police detectives continue to investigate the case with aid from the State’s Attorney’s Office.
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