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.”