Probe ordered after Florida shooter fires at delivery driver

Apr 23, 2023, 2:00 PM | Updated: Apr 24, 2023, 1:32 am

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida prosecutor has ordered an investigation in a confrontation in which a homeowner fired shots into a couple’s car when they mistakenly turned onto his property while making a late-night grocery delivery. Police closed the case without consulting the state attorney’s office.

No one was injured by the gunfire in an upscale Fort Lauderdale suburb, but is the latest in a spate of similar shootings across the U.S. where people have mistakenly turned onto the wrong property or gotten in the wrong car. One person has been killed and others seriously wounded. In this case, the shooter told police the car was being driven erratically, struck his leg and made him fear for himself and his son.

Broward County State Attorney Harold Pryor issued a statement saying police investigators never contacted his office about the April 15 shooting in Southwest Ranches that put at least two bullets into the car driven by 19-year-old Waldes Thomas Jr., who was with his 18-year-old girlfriend, Diamond Darville.

Pryor said his staff members were unaware of the shooting until they were contacted Friday by a reporter from WTVJ-TV, who interviewed the couple. The Davie Police Department has a contract with Southwest Ranches to provide service.

“I contacted the Davie Police Department to request a full investigation,” Pryor said Friday, adding that his prosecutors will decide whether charges should be filed.

Davie police declined to comment Sunday, but released the lead detective’s report. He wrote that without any video, he couldn’t determine if either the shooter or couple committed a crime.

“Each party appeared justified in their actions based on the circumstances they perceived,” the report concluded.

The shooting happened on an unlit street in a semi-rural neighborhood at a home sitting on two-acres.

According to the police report, Thomas and Darville got lost while delivering groceries for Instacart shortly before 10 p.m. They were on the phone with their customer when Thomas turned their 2014 Honda Civic into an area where the shooter stores equipment for his excavation business. The address they were looking for is across the street.

The shooter and the couple gave investigators conflicting reports about what happened next.

The homeowner told officers he asked his 12-year-old son to tell the driver to leave, but soon heard the boy yelling for help. The father said he saw the car driving erratically, banging into logs and boulders so he told his son to run.

He said the car then drove toward him and ran over his foot. Saying he feared for his life and his son’s, the man drew his handgun and fired at the car’s tires, but it sped away. He then called police.

An officer found Thomas and Darville parked nearby. When he asked what happened, they replied, “we just got shot at.” He said Darville was crying and Thomas appeared “extremely nervous and scared.” The officer said there were two bullet holes in the car’s bumper and one tire was flat.

The couple told police they thought that they were at the right house, then tried to leave after the boy told them they weren’t. Thomas said he put the car into reverse and hit a boulder, which was when the shooter approached “aggressively.” That’s when Thomas said he heard shots and drove away. Darville said she saw the shooter pull his gun and fire.

“I said, ‘We got to go, we got to go,’” Darville told WTVJ. “I was scared, I’m not going to lie.” She didn’t respond to a phone call or emails from The Associated Press.

The AP isn’t naming the property resident because he hasn’t been charged with a crime. His phone rang unanswered and he did not return a text message Sunday seeking comment.

Police say they returned the shooter’s gun after closing the case. __

An earlier version incorrectly said the statement was issued Sunday, not Friday.

United States News

A sign marks a roadside rest stop that has been made to look like the historic security gate that a...

Associated Press

Birthplace of the atomic bomb braces for its biggest mission since the top-secret Manhattan Project

Los Alamos was the perfect spot for the U.S. government’s top-secret Manhattan Project.

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Suspect arrested after shooting at the Oklahoma State Fair injures 1, police say

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — One person was injured when shots were fired during an argument between two groups of people at the Oklahoma State Fair on Saturday, sending a crowd of people running for safety, police said. One person was arrested on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon after the evening shooting, Oklahoma […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Former NHL player Nicolas Kerdiles dies after a motorcycle crash in Nashville. He was 29

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Former NHL player Nicolas Kerdiles died Saturday after a motorcycle crash in Nashville, according to police. He was 29. The one-time hockey player for the Anaheim Ducks drove his motorcycle through a stop sign early Saturday and hit the driver’s side of an SUV, according to the Metro Nashville Police Department. […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Hazing lawsuit filed against University of Alabama fraternity

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — A student and his parents have filed a lawsuit against a University of Alabama fraternity, saying he suffered a traumatic brain injury while being hazed as a fraternity pledge earlier this year. The lawsuit filed last week accuses Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and others associated with it of fraud, negligence and […]

5 hours ago

This illustration provided by NASA depicts the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft at the asteroid Bennu. On Wedn...

Associated Press

NASA recovers asteroid samples in largest haul of material from beyond the moon

NASA’s first asteroid samples fetched from deep space parachuted into the Utah desert Sunday to cap a seven-year journey.

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Louisiana man who fled attempted murder trial captured after 32 years on the run

ARCADIA, La. (AP) — A Louisiana man who fled his 1991 trial for attempted murder has been arrested more than three decades later after authorities found him hiding in Mexico, authorities said. Greg Lawson, 63, was brought back to the United States on Thursday after being located in Mexico, the FBI said. Lawson was accused […]

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Importance of AC maintenance after Arizona’s excruciating heat wave

An air conditioning unit in Phoenix is vital to living a comfortable life inside, away from triple-digit heat.


Ignite Digital

How to unlock the power of digital marketing for Phoenix businesses

All businesses around the Valley hopes to maximize their ROI with current customers and secure a greater market share in the digital sphere.


Mayo Clinic

Game on! Expert sports physicals focused on you

With tryouts quickly approaching, now is the time for parents to schedule physicals for their student-athlete. The Arizona Interscholastic Association requires that all student-athletes must have a physical exam completed before participating in team practices or competition.

Probe ordered after Florida shooter fires at delivery driver