25-year-old man killed in 'domestic' shooting in Deltona, sheriff says

Girlfriend found victim dead in Howland Boulevard home, deputies say

By Adrienne Cutway - Web Editor

DELTONA, Fla. - A 25-year-old man was fatally shot Tuesday morning in what the Volusia County sheriff categorized as a domestic crime.

The victim's family members said they last made contact with Patrick Kane de la Cerda at about 7:15 a.m. when he was at the family's home on Howland Boulevard.

At about 7:38 a.m., the victim's father received a text from someone saying they were from a delivery company and needed to get in through the front gate but they were unable to because no one was answering.

The father called de la Cerda to try to get him to open the gate, but his call went unanswered, according to Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood.

After several unanswered calls to the victim, the de la Cerda's girlfriend went to the home to check on him and she found him suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, authorities said.

Chitwood said de la Cerda was shot through the front door. He died at the scene.

"This is not a random act of violence, is what we're saying. What we're saying is there's more to this story and we believe there's going to be a domestic tilt to it when we're done with it," Chitwood said.

Chitwood said deputies are investigating several leads. He noted that de la Cerda and his girlfriend both have an active restraining order against the same person, but he would not say who that person is.

"There's other players involved, there's a restraining order that's out that is very interesting to us. Both the decedent and girlfriend have a restraining order against another individual," Chitwood said.

Chitwood also said that the victim had been involved in two prior disputes with his neighbor, an Army veteran who suffers from dementia.

In late 2017, deputies said the neighbor shot at the victim because he thought the victim was an intruder. In another incident earlier this year, deputies said the neighbor was armed with a revolver.

The neighbor was arrested after the first incident and held under the Baker Act after the second, according to Chitwood.

On Wednesday, deputies said Gregory Bender, a person of interest in the case, was arrested on an unrelated violation of domestic injunction charge in Orange County. Deputies said no charges have been filed in connection with de la Cerda's death.

Chitwood initially said the victim was 19 years old then later corrected the information to say he was 25 years old.

Check back for more updates on this developing story.

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