Kelsey Anderson and his wife of five years had been fighting at their home in Daytona North since early Sunday morning. The fight had started over the cable bill and other financial strains. The fight only escalated when she went to work at AdventHealth Palm Coast, the hospital where she is a nurse.
The situation escalated to the point where Anderson, 35, allegedly threatened to drive over to the hospital and harm his 33-year-old wife and her colleagues, statements that sent the hospital on lock-down, triggered a manhunt involving nearly three dozen deputies, and had the sheriff’s office mobilized until past sundown, when Anderson turned himself in. His arrest report and a dozen incident reports shed some additional light on those hours when deputies had taken up positions around the hospital, ready for the worst, while at one point one deputy was able to make contact with Anderson by phone. But it didn’t last.
By midday, after his wife had gone to work, Anderson was getting angry, sending her messages on Facebook and threatening to come to her place of work and “act a fool,” according to his arrest report. She asked him what he wanted her to do. His answer: “You gonna see today.” She explained to him why the cable bill was not paid. It did not calm him. He wrote that he was on his way and, using obscenities, told her she would find out how “retarded I am.”
Shortly before noon she asked him to stop contacting her while she was at work. At 11:54 a.m., he wrote that he would “start killing mutha fuckers out here” and made other accusations. She did not respond just then, but at 12:15 p.m., he texted one word: “Hello.” She then called the sheriff’s office and said she thought her husband was capable of carrying out those threats. She told the sheriff’s office that she’d also been in verbal communication with Anderson, and that he’d threatened verbally that if she wouldn’t speak to him, he’d drive over and shoot people. (The couple is raising a 12-year-old boy together, from the alleged victim’s previous marriage. He was at his biological father’s house as the incident unfolded. In a letter to the court three years ago, when he was seeking a waiver of costs and fees from a previous conviction, he told the court he was financially responsible for two minor dependents at a cost of $240 a month.)
There were weapons at the house, including a .30-06 long gun and a .380 handgun, the nurse told a deputy, but Anderson was not allowed to handle them, being a convicted felon. She was not sure if he was using narcotics.
Information deputies initially received was scanty, indicating the possibility that Anderson was in his gray Nissan truck in a parking lot of the hospital, armed with a gun. Deputies cleared the east parking lot, took up positions at every hospital entrance and at Town center Boulevard and Hospital Drive and at Memorial Medical Parkway and Hospital Drive, among other intersections, while Flagler County Fire Flight, the emergency helicopter, searched the area from above.
Deputies responded to the hospital at 12:23 and met with the alleged victim in the nurses’ office on the second floor. She reported that “that her husband Kelsey Anderson, texted her through Facebook instant messenger and was making threats to kill people in the parking lot and possibly kill himself if she does not come outside to meet up with him,” according to one of numerous sheriff’s incident reports.
While deputies were speaking with his wife, Anderson called her. A deputy asked him if the situation could be resolved peacefully. Anderson, according to the deputy, told him that he “did nothing wrong, there is no reason I have to talk with you and I don’t have to tell you shit.” The deputy continued to ask Anderson about his location and whether he’d be willing to talk. Anderson refused to disclose where he was and insisted he’d done nothing wrong. When asked about the threatening text messages, he said he’d sent no such things. He then ended the conversation.
Further attempts to contact Anderson were unsuccessful. Deputies conducted surveillance in various parts of Daytona North, establishing perimeters there near the house of the suspect. The perimeters were broken down at 7 p.m.
At some point that day County Judge Melissa Distler signed a warrant for Anderson’s arrest on a second-degree felony charge of making written threats to kill–the sort of warrant local judges have signed more than a dozen times since last year, but targeting high school and middle school students who’d been heard making threats, or seen doing so on social media.
Shortly before 8 p.m., Anderson turned himself in to deputies at the Hidden Trails Community Center in the western part of the county. After he was secured, he made several statements to deputies that he wanted to harm himself, and had suicidal thoughts. Baker Act forms were prepared, but he was not Baker Acted. He was booked at the Flagler County jail at 10:16 p.m. on no bond.