A mother and father and their four children were spending some time together in their backyard near DeLand on a recent Sunday night.
According to the father, a 65-year-old woman who lives next door “scream[ed] at the children, calling them ‘retards.’”
He “told [Obnoxious Neighbor] that they are just children and [Obnoxious Neighbor] said ‘I’ve got something for your a--.’ and then fired a gun seven times.”
The father saw the flash of the firearm’s muzzle and “was scared for his kids and his own life.”
His wife and his nephew, who were also in the backyard, confirmed Dad’s story and also stated “that they were in fear for their lives and thought they were being shot at.”
Volusia County sheriff’s deputies, using a PA system, ordered Obnoxious Neighbor and her husband to come out of their home, to no avail. The deputies were able to contact the couple’s son at his job, and, through him, they got the couple to exit their home.
The couple’s son “mentioned that his parents and [the dad next door] have had ongoing issues for some time which has led to multiple ‘petty’ arguments.” Presumably none of those previous small quarrels led to gunfire.
Obnoxious Neighbor told deputies she had been relaxing on her back patio at around 8 p.m. when “a child’s voice shouted ‘shut up’ over the fence.” She said she “playfully replied ‘shut up’ back which is when an adult male voice replied with ‘shut the f--- up.’”
She and her husband said they never fired a gun that evening, nor heard one fired, nor had a gun outside. The husband said they own about 15 firearms and have the required legal permits.
Deputies noted the couple “appeared to be under the influence of alcohol, due to slurred speech, blood shot eyes, and the odor of alcoholic beverages.”
A neighbor who is a sergeant with the DeLand Police Department told deputies he heard six or seven gunshots around 8:30, and another neighbor also reported hearing gunfire.
So the deputies felt pretty confident that Obnoxious Neighbor and her husband weren’t entirely truthful when they denied that anyone fired a gun that night. They arrested Obnoxious Neighbor on three felony counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill.
Wonder if Obnoxious Neighbor was as loud and combative toward her new neighbors in the Volusia County Branch Jail.
— By Keith Allen, based on local police-agency reports. If you have information about a crime, call Crime Stoppers, 1-888-277- TIPS. You could be eligible for a reward.