Andrew Derr Orange City Florida man not to face criminal charges in the road rage shooting death of Sara-Nicole Morales after following pregnant librarian following traffic skirmish.
The family of a Volusia County library assistant who was shot dead by a motorcyclist who followed her home following a traffic skirmish only to shoot her dead in a road rage incident have expressed disbelief after Florida prosecutors decided against pursuing criminal charges against the bike rider.
Andrew Derr, 40, of Orange City, shot and killed Sara-Nicole Morales, 35, on Nov. 20 outside her mother’s house in Orange City. Derr said Morales pointed a gun at him. Two other men said Morales was waving the gun around, according to reports.
Morales at the time of her shooting death was pregnant and engaged to be married. As responding Orange City Police arrive at the scene, Derr in bodycam video can be heard telling officers, ‘That girl tried to kill me. She pointed a gun at me.’
Assistant State Attorney Bryan Shorstein, a spokesman for 7th Circuit State Attorney R.J. Larizza, wrote in an email on Tuesday that Derr would not be charged according to the Daytone Beach Journal.
‘The State Attorney’s Office has completed a comprehensive review of this case. The Orange City Police Department concluded, after a thorough investigation, that the suspect would not be charged with a crime,’ Shorstein wrote. ‘While the facts in this case are truly heartbreaking, the law does not authorize the filing of any criminal charges. Our sincerest thoughts and prayers go out to the Morales family.’
Victims’ family angered by decision not to pursue criminal charges
Derr has a concealed weapons permit, according to Orange City Police reports.
Morales’ mother, Doreen Flaherty, said at the time of the fatal shooting, her daughter had grabbed her fiancé’s gun after becoming frightened when she noticed Derr had followed her to the residence.
Prosecutors’ decision not to charge Derr left the mother angry and bewildered.
While conceding both sides made mistakes in the fatal incident, the mother maintained Derr should not have followed her daughter home.
‘If he had not followed her in the first place there would have been no need for him to feel the need to defend himself,’ Flaherty told the Daytona Beach Journal.
Matters came to the fore when Derr tried to pass Morales, only to move her car into his lane, causing Derr to swerve, according to a witness’ statement in a report.
Derr then ‘became aggressive,’ yelling and waving as he continued to ride next to Morales’ vehicle, the witness said in the report.
‘It was pointed at me. I was scared to death’
Morales swerved her car at the biker. Her vehicle struck the motorcycle’s saddle bag, leaving a scuff mark and almost causing the biker to wreck.
Derr then kicked Morales’ car, a witness stated in the report.
Derr and two other men, who were the witnesses quoted in the reports, followed Morales to her home on East Wisconsin Avenue in Orange City. Derr later told police he and the other two men were waiting in the road near her house.
Morales ran into her house and came back out with a gun. Derr pulled his .45-caliber pistol and shot her dead, according to a report.
‘She came toward us and when she was about 15 feet away she raised a gun at me,’ Derr told police, according to a report. ‘It was pointed at me. I was scared to death and immediately drew my firearm and defended myself.’
Nicolas Hirst, of Deltona, one of the other two men who followed Morales, told police Morales came out of the house and told the men she was on the phone with police.
‘She then pulled out a gun and waved it at the three of us. I stepped back, said ‘calm down’ and before I knew it, the male motorcyclist drew his gun and shot the female what sounded like five times,’ Hirst stated, according to the report.
At the time of the fatal shooting, Morales’ 11-year-old daughter was inside the house and heard the gunshots that took her mother’s life.