Early the afternoon of June 24, a bleeding man staggered into a garage at 12 Fulton Place in Palm Coast, with a gunshot wound to the back and the chest. Marco Salazar, 19, then fell to the ground. He’d been hanging out with Levi Ovenshire at Ovenshire’s house across the street when, apparently for inexplicable reasons, Ovenshire, 19, allegedly shot him.
Ovenshire was arrested after a brief car chase through the R Section and charged with attempted murder, among other charges. But details of the shooting and Ovenshire’s subsequent declarations to deputies that Saturday, obtained by FlaglerLive, paint a chilling and disturbing picture of a shooting that may have been influenced by intoxicants, but that remains largely unexplained. The following account is based on a series of deputies’ reports from that day and statements by witnesses and Ovenshire to deputies, and Salazar to a deputy and a nurse who tended to him in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.
The resident at 12 Fulton Place reported to 911 that a man—Salazar—had walked into her garage, “bleeding to death.” Blood, the caller said, was spurting out of Salazar’s abdomen. The victim was alert and conscious, but fell down as he entered the garage. Salazar, in an exchange audible on the 911 call, told the woman that “Levi” had shot him.
He’d been shot in the back. The bullet exited through his chest. Salazar was reported in critical condition at Halifax hospital in Daytona Beach, where he’d been flown.
Less than half an hour later, sitting in the back seat of a patrol car after his capture, Ovenshire would allegedly ask a deputy how long it would take for “him” to die. He was apparently referring to Salazar, as he went on: “Ovenshire,” according to the deputy’s report, “also spontaneously uttered that he shot ‘him’ in the back and in the ribs area.” There were additional statements, captured on the deputy’s body camera, which are certain to become key evidence as the case proceeds in court.
But a lot happened between the shooting and the capture.
Three minutes after the first 911 call, the 911 dispatch center got a call from Norma Bivens, Levi Ovenshire’s 43-year-old mother. She owns the house at 13 Fulton Place. (She and her 35-year-old husband Adam Bivens are lieutenants in the Port Orange Fire Department.) Norma Bivens told the dispatcher that just as she and her husband were pulling into the driveway, Ovenshire ran into them with his car as he was backing out. As she walked into the house, she noticed blood all over the place. One of the rear windows had been shot out, suggesting that there’d been more than one shot fired. Because of the large amounts of blood in the house she told the dispatcher she thought Ovenshire may have shot himself, but also that she believed her residence had been “robbed” by her son. He “stole” a box where his parents kept money (about $1,500, as it turned out), she told the dispatcher. (Ovenshire is her biological son, and Adam’s stepson.) There was little additional information, other than that, as Bivens later told a deputy, Ovenshire had just broken up with his girlfriend. Later, deputies would recover two .45 caliber rounds from the floor at 13 Fulton. Adam Bivens’s .45 caliber 1911 was missing from under his mattress.
Bivens’s call to 911 was placed at 1:17 p.m. At 1:19 p.m., Flagler County Sheriff’s deputy Brad Stogdon arrived at 12 Fulton Place, across the street from the Bivens house. He found Susan Seltzberg, a 63-year-old registered nurse, tending to Salazar’s wound. The deputy reported that Salazar appeared to have been shot in the upper chest area. Salazar told him he’d been shot across the street at Ovenshire’s house, as he and Ovenshire were in the kitchen. Salazar had been there “hanging out.” He remembered just one shot. He told the deputy he “did not know why” Ovenshire shot him and “could not elaborate further,” according to the arrest affidavit.
Ovenshire’s car, a 1992 Gold Honda with the sticker “Coexist” on its bumper, was then located by a deputy in an unmarked car at Old Kings Road and Town Center Boulevard, at 1:27 p.m. Ovenshire made a right onto Town Center, then a right onto Royal Palms Parkway. He also made a right onto Point Pleasant then abruptly veered back to Royal Palms and kept heading west until he was stopped by traffic at the intersection with Belle Terre Parkway. At that point Ovenshire “drove right of the fog line,” the report states, leaving the road to get around other vehicles. Ovenshire headed north on Belle Terre Parkway, The deputy activated his emergency lights, and a chase began as Ovenshire did not pull over.
Ovenshire accelerated. As he approached Rymfire Drive he drove through the median into the south bound lane through heavy traffic and a red light. He threw several items through the car’s sunroof—CDs, pillows, wallets and other objects that broke as they hit the road–continuing on Rymfire until he turned on Riviera, where he took several evasive maneuvers down populated residential streets. He then drove back onto Rymfire, then Ryan, where he struck a bicycle. It had no rider, but several people were walking and riding their bikes in the area of the pursuit.
Ovenshire left the road to avoid stop sticks at Ryan and Rymfire, then went on Rae, speeding through a stop sign and finally crashing at Rae and Raleigh Drive, where deputy Malta ordered him out of the car with his hands up. Ovenshire got out and went down on his knees, then onto his stomach as he was handcuffed. He did attempt to “bring his hands under him to avoid being placed into handcuffs,” Malta reported.
It was then, in the patrol car, that Ovenshire allegedly made the statements about shooting Salazar.
As he sat in back of the patrol car, Ovenshire’s biological father, Milton Ovenshire, arrived at the scene and spoke with him. He told deputies he believed his son was high or intoxicated, and that he’d never seen him act like this before. He did not think Levi recognized him, but rather spoke about “aliens” and about Salazar’s skin coming off. It was the first hint of strange statements he would make at greater length shortly. (Blood and urine samples would later be taken at Florida Hospital Flagler.)
Ovenshire was then taken to the sheriff’s operations center and its investigative division. While he was being photographed, he requested food. He got a granola snack bar. At 4:12 p.m., Ovenshire began “making strange statements regarding the shading of the floor at the Flagler county Sheriff’s Office,” the report states. “Mr. Ovenshire stated that ‘Marco did not appreciate things such as the shading of the floor.’”
By then the deputy had activated his body camera. He asked Ovenshire who Marco was.
“The kid that I ended up shooting,” Ovenshire reportedly replied. Salazar, Ovenshire went on, in what was transcribed word for word in the report: “Didn’t even flinch when umm I pulled the trigger with a fake bullet in it… and it was kind of like it shot something out of him, cause I saw him, like, duck after that… cause [inaudible] hit the button, but then I just, umm, cocked it real fast and put a, the next one was a real bullet. And then.. when…shot.. and then I thought it connected too late. So I don’t know if that’s really just me behind at this point, compared to what actually happened, or the shot was just enough to… cause I mean, that’s a 1911 .45.”
Ovenshire then complained of not feeling well. He was checked out by Fire Rescue personnel. He was then photographed 26 times before being taken to an interview room, where he heard his Miranda rights, waived his right to an attorney, and agreed to speak—and did so making bizarre statements. He referred to “the bad MDMA guy” (MDMA commonly refers to ecstasy, a drug with euphoric effects). He referred to “lizard people” whose eyes look like a vertical sliver. He referred to a person called “Chris” as looking like the devil to him. He said Salazar would make “annoying little gay” comments that angered him, and that he was not going to deal with it anymore, according to the report.
A gun—a .45–was later recovered from the Honda, along with $2,150 in currency.
A request for an update on Salazar’s condition on Monday drew this response from a sheriff’s spokesperson: “Unfortunately it is up to the victim/his family to release any health updates and we do not have one at this time. All I know is that he is alive.”
Ovenshire is being held at the Flagler County jail on no bond.