DELAND, Fla. – A man who attended block parties in DeLand over the weekend was hospitalized with a non-life-threatening injury after being shot, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.
The 34-year-old victim told Altamonte Springs police that he was drinking with friends when someone started shooting, deputies said.
The man was shot in the foot, fled the scene, went home to Orlando to wrap up his foot, then woke up and went to a hospital for further treatment Sunday morning, deputies said.
Two men have been arrested in connection to the shooting, deputies said.
The two men, 27-year-old Alphonso Parker and 37-year-old Charles Turner, were each taken into custody and charged with resisting an officer without violence, inciting a riot and possession of a firearm/ammunition by a convicted felon, deputies said.
A number of block parties were broken up Saturday night and early Sunday morning by deputies, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.
The parties were held for a man in DeLand who was killed more than 10 years ago, according to residents. People said they were just trying to have a good time and things only escalated when cops showed up.
“Nobody came out here to fight,” said DeLand resident Lanesha Smokes. “We came out here to have a good time.”
Smokes said she was at Saturday’s block party near Delaware Avenue. But Volusia County investigators said that block party was dangerous, senseless and embarrassing. They featured large crowds they say blocked traffic and caused safety hazards.
“We can’t enjoy ourselves in our own neighborhoods,” Smokes said.
Authorities estimated that at least 3,000 people gathered across DeLand for a memorial and block parties that spanned many different locations on Saturday. Deputies said the parties went on well into the early hours of Sunday.
Unfortunately, the parties turned disruptive and objects were thrown at deputies, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.
“Where else in Volusia County does a mob of thousands of people pack the streets? Where else are people throwing glass bottles at law enforcement and sucker punching deputies? How are we supposed to turn a blind eye to someone pointing a gun at a crowd, or two convicted felons exchanging a loaded gun right in front of our face? Our response to last night’s events in DeLand was not about race. It’s about public safety,” Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said in a statement.
Deputies said there were many alarming things that happened while they tried to control the crowds, and the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said that deputies encountered sucker punches and had objects like bar stools and mason jars thrown at them.
“They do have the guidelines and all that going on but if I choose to hang out, then that’s on me,” Smokes said.
The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office posted a video of the large crowds from the beginning of the day to night time, and you can see the videos here.
Deputies said a long gun was also pointed out of a passing car. One Volusia County deputy suffered a minor knee injury, while a DeLand police Officer Had a minor head injury.