Police investigate shots fired into Volusia County Republican office

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South Daytona Police are investigating four shots that were fired into the Volusia County Republican office earlier this week.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports the shooting left shattered glass, damaged posters and damaged walls, though no one was physically injured. Police believe the incident took between Sunday night and early Monday morning when no one was in the Republican office or the strip mall businesses next door.

Although investigators have reportedly not found witnesses to the shooting, the News-Journal reports Volusia County Republican Party Chairman Tony Ledbetter is convinced Democrats are responsible.



"I’m looking at the busted window that some nice Democrat did," Ledbetter told the News-Journal. "Republicans don’t have any beef about what we are doing, it's the Democrats."
Ledbetter also blamed Democrats for the shooting on WFTV 9, telling the station, "You've got some sick person, and I'll call them out – they're Democrats. No Republican has any reason to come attack our location."

The South Daytona Police Department has not publicly identified any suspects.

Ledbetter, though, has been called out before for sharing anti-Semitic and Islamophobic content on Facebook, according to the News-Journal, including the false claim that liberal billionaire George Soros is a "true Nazi" and that Muslims were "animals" who should be removed from the country.
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More recently on his Facebook, Ledbetter has shared conspiracy theories on a wide range of issues, including false claims that "dead and illegal Democrats" are voting and that Democrats are registering voters from the migrant caravan traveling through Mexico. Ledbetter has also shared a conspiracy that the sticker-covered van of the Florida man suspected of mailing pipe bombs to Trump critics was "organized and pre-meditated" to make the suspect look like a "political ideologist."

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The shooting at the Volusia County Republican Party headquarters has been widely condemned. The League of Women Voters of Florida and the Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence said in statement they "condemn all forms of domestic terrorism."

"To begin the week – any week – with gun violence of any kind is unacceptable," the organization said. "The hatred that is consuming our state and country helps no one and hurts us all. We call on all Floridians to join us in our condemnation of these acts and commit to a renewed effort to maintain the peace of our communities. Lives are counting on it."

Republican Party of Florida chairman Blaise Ingoglia said party members "stand against any type of violence against any volunteer, Republican or Democrat."

"It’s unbelievable to me that we have reached a low in political discourse where volunteers for campaigns now how to fear for their safety," Ingoglia said in a statement. "People should have the right to exercise their right of free speech without fear of retaliation. The RPOF is thankful no one was harmed in this shooting, but we must make one thing clear – violence is never the answer, under any circumstance."

Volusia Democratic Party Chair Jewel Dickson said local Democrats were "extremely disturbed" by the shooting.

"This kind of attempted violence has no place in Florida, and no place in politics," Dickson said in a statement. "We hope whoever carried out this shooting is found and brought to justice. An attack on one of us, is an attack on all of us, and everyone should feel safe participating in our democracy."

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