“We don’t know why she hit him,” said Orange City police Lt. Jason Sampsell. “She swerved into him, and prior to the vehicle making impact, he warned her to stay away, and he is pulling away, and she gets to the side of him and comes right into him.”
The motorcyclist and witnesses confronted her at the next intersection and told her to wait on the Police. Morales drove home and went inside to retrieve a handgun, then walked back into the yard while witnesses were on the phone with 911.
On the 911 recording, you can hear the voice of Morales shouting, “You are three men who followed me, you were screaming at me,” but before she could finish talking, you can hear eight gunshots followed by a man saying, “She tried to pull a gun on me.” A witness told the 9-1-1 dispatcher, “The lady is shot. The dude on the bike shot her. He shot her in self-defense.”
From the body cam video, Derr appeared to have gone up towards her house. When Morales pointed her gun at Derr, he drew his handgun and fired multiple rounds, killing Morales in her front yard. Police arrived minutes later, and you can see what happened on the body cam.
Derr, who has a valid Florida concealed firearm license, is cooperating with the States Attorney’s Office, and they have filed no charges.
Nothing went right here!
This must be one of the most foolish and unfortunate incidents I have seen in a while, and everyone involved could have de-escalated it on multiple occasions.
According to Police, the confrontation allegedly began because Morales decided she wasn’t happy with Derr’s driving, and she cut him off. If it was an accident, the outcome for the Derr could change for the worse. At one point, Morales evidently called 911, claiming the men were being aggressive and threatening her. Her next poor decision was going home instead of staying until authorities showed up. I might understand some of her reasoning if she panicked and rushed home after hitting him. She should have waited until the Police arrived, especially since it was in the afternoon and many motorists were around. If it was in the middle of nowhere and she was by herself, I might understand her being scared.
When she got home, why not lock the doors and stay inside to call 911? She was already in the house and had a gun to protect herself if they tried to enter. But she went outside and confronted them in her yard. Legal maybe, but intelligent, absolutely not.
As far as Derr goes, he may not have been charged, but maybe he should share some of the blame. Why follow her home and then get close enough where the situation to continues to escalate? Just for the sake of argument, let’s say they did not get her license plate, but now they knew where she lived, and Police were on their way. In the body cam video, you can see Derr had proceeded into her yard and did not stay out by the road. Was he possibly taking justice into his own hands because then she would be justified in shooting him because, at that point, he became the aggressor?
Derr’s and Morales’s poor decisions have taken her life, her unborn child’s life, plus her fiancé and 11-year-old daughter are left alone. Derr has told reporters it is keeping him up at night. When conflict arises, you need to keep calm and remember there are consequences for your actions.
This is one to follow and see what the outcome is after all the details are out.
By Brian Armstrong via USA Carry and republished with permission.