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UPDATE, NOV. 23: The Orange City Police Department has released new information about the fatal shooting of a librarian on East Wisconsin Avenue in Orange City Nov. 20.

In a news release, police said their investigation of the incident — including interviews with witnesses and the motorcyclist who shot the librarian — indicated, first, that the librarian, Sara Nicole Morales, intentionally hit the motorcyclist with her vehicle in the 1400 block of North Volusia Avenue in Orange City.

Police also identified the motorcyclist as 40-year-old Andrew Derr. He was not injured nor ejected from his motorcycle, police said.

When Morales left the scene of the collision in her blue Kia, police said, Derr and other witnesses followed her 

Second, according to police, after Derr and the other witnesses attempted to get Morales to stop and assist in reporting the collision, Morales drove to 1052 E. Wisconsin Ave., parked, entered the residence there, and re-emerged a short time later brandishing a handgun, which she pointed at Derr and the witnesses.

When that happened, according to police, Derr drew his concealed handgun, which he had a permit to carry, and fired multiple rounds, striking Morales.

Morales was transported to Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, where she died Nov. 21.

No one has been arrested or charged in connection with the incident. The investigation is ongoing, police said.  

– Barb Shepherd

Original story (published Nov. 22):

Volusia County public libraries in DeLand and Pierson are closed today and tomorrow, Nov. 22-23, because of a tragedy that claimed the life of a librarian over the weekend.

County officials ordered the two libraries closed to give colleagues of Sara Nicole Morales, 35, time to grieve their loss. 

Morales, according to Orange City Police, was involved in an accident on North Volusia Avenue shortly before sunset Saturday, Nov. 20. Morales’ car, police say, hit a motorcycle and left the scene. 

Witnesses called emergency dispatch, and some other motorists, as well as the motorcyclist, urged the driver to stop as they followed her eastward on East Wisconsin Avenue. 

When she came to a home in the 1000 block of East Wisconsin Avenue, police said, she got out of the car, and a confrontation involving the motorcyclist ensued in the road. The exchange of words ended with gunfire, and Morales “was shot multiple times,” a police statement said.

The Orange City Police Department has not yet released its full report on the incident, and no one, so far, has been arrested.

The Orange City Fire Department responded to the scene to provide emergency medical treatment. Morales was transported to Halifax Medical Center, where she died Nov. 21.

Police have not released the name of the alleged assailant, but he has been identified, police said. The investigation is continuing, and Orange City Police Chief Peter Thomas said the motorcyclist is cooperating with police.

“Our immediate concern is for the welfare of Sara’s family, her library colleagues and all of our county employees,” Volusia County Deputy Manager Suzanne Konchan said. “We are all shaken up by the incident. As we grieve the loss of one of our own, we stand together in wholeheartedly supporting one another during this difficult time.”

Morales had been a county employee since January 2019. 

“Sara was well liked by patrons and staff for her upbeat personality,” Regional Librarian Ann Collins said. “She was kind, hardworking, a team player and always ready to help.”

4 COMMENTS

  1. Here’s my take, unknown words were exchanged (possibly even threating), she rammed into the motorcycle and drove off (Hit & Run). 2 male witnesses plus the 1 male victim follow her to address. These 3 men are confronting her at her residence, scared she grabs a firearm and tells them to leave with her firearm pointed at them. They don’t leave, male victim shoots her. 1st question, why did they follow her and not remain at the scene of the accident? 2nd question, why not just get the address, retreat and report it to 911? Seems like the male victim took the law & justice into his own hands. While she broke the law with her Hit & Run… being shot at her own residence doesn’t seem right.

    • I need more details before passing judgment. Reports said she went into the house and got a gun and came back. She should have stayed inside and waited for officers to arrest her. Not saying she deserved to die, but she certainly didn’t help the situation. Again, I need more details.

  2. “Tough” guy with a gun kills pregnant woman over minor traffic incident (no one hurt, no significant damage). Won’t hear her side of the story. I would bet that if he didn’t have a gun, then he would have just called police, maybe followed her at a distance. Everyone would be with their family for holidays.

  3. She did everything right up until she pointed a gun. Then she lost all opportunity to give her side of the story when she threatened to shoot. She lost her life for being stupid about using a fire arm.

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