110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Jen Horton
posted Apr 18, 2013 - 8:58:48am
John Hockaday, 67, of West Euclid Avenue in DeLand, was charged today, April 18, by affidavit, with the crime of discharging a weapon in a public place.
A resident of West Euclid Avenue called police after, he said, he saw his neighbor shoot a handgun from his front yard.
Police arrived and, according to their report, could see the suspect through the window, "Sitting on a couch watching television."
The report said an officer knocked on the door, identified himself as a police officer, and told the man it was important to speak to him.
The suspect then "reacted by dropping to the ground and retrieving an unknown object from under the cushions of the couch he had been sitting on," according to the report.
The police saw the man crawl from the living room into a darkened back room.
The man would not answer his phone, nor respond to requests police made using a patrol vehicle's PA system.
Amy Davidson and her husband Joe were asleep Wednesday night at their home on West Euclid Avenue when they heard what sounded like gunshots coming from next door.
"I was sleeping; it was about 11 p.m. last night. I heard something and I thought it was fireworks," Amy Davidson said. "My husband said, 'No that was a gun.'"
Davidson said the police came. She said she saw three police cars and at least four cops with shotguns.
The family was instructed to go down to their basement.
The couple have four children ranging in age from 2 to 12. They woke up the children, and complied.
Davidson said they could hear police talking to someone she believed was her neighbor, over a loud speaker.
"We heard them say, "John, this is the DeLand Police. We need to make sure you're OK. We need you to come out of your house," she said.
The family could hear activity in their yard, footsteps, and what Davidson thought was police officers jumping her fence.
Eventually, the police, via the loudspeaker, she said, advised people in the area it was safe to come out of hiding.
According to police, supervisors had been called to the scene and they determined that the incident did not warrant a forced entry into the man's home. However, a charging affadavit was issued for the misdemeanor charge of firing a weapon in public.
Davidson's family spent the night together in their family room after the scare.
She said she got another scare first thing this morning.
Her daughter's school bus stop is across the street. At about 7:10 a.m., she said, she was getting the child ready, and the police came back.
Davidson said the she saw police with "shotguns hiding behind my van. I told them there was a school bus that was going to be here in about five minutes. They said OK, crossed the street and went and hid behind some trees."
Then, she believes they left.
"It was very strange," she said.
She said the family was shaken up, and this morning they still didn't know exactly what happened in their neighborhood.
It was not clear whether officers were waiting for Hockaday to exit his home so they could present the affadavit.
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