A young woman was shot late Saturday night at a residence on Cherry Street in the Mondex, also known as Daytona North, and was flown in critical but stable condition to Halifax hospital in Daytona Beach.
The victim, Tiffany Norman, 26, has three young children, boys ages 2, 5 and 7. Circumstances of the shooting are murky: her husband or companion, Jonathan Canales, 27, a disabled Army veteran, has allegedly told police that Norman shot herself. But she told authorities at the scene that she did not shoot herself, and that she did not know what happened. She was shot in the neck with a small-caliber firearm.
Canales called 911, according to a police report, and told the dispatcher she tried to kill herself. “Tiffany could be heard in the background by the dispatcher say to stop lying,” the report states. And given at pad at the scene, Norman “wrote something to the effect of, she did not try to kill herself and she did not know what happened.”
Canales was taken into custody, but on unrelated charges: he faces three counts of child neglect, according to his jail booking, but he faces four counts of aggravated child abuse according to the court docket. The reason: two loaded firearms were allegedly found by the door to the children’s room (a Ruger 357 magnum and a Derringer .38, each with one round in the chamber). He was booked at close to 5 a.m. Sunday morning but bonded out. Bond was set at $1,500. He has been staying with his family in Ormond Beach.
“Both firearms were on the floor just outside of the unlocked bedroom door of the room that all three children were asleep in,” Canales’s arrest report states. “Also outside the bedroom door were several magazines and live ammunition. Any of the three children could have opened the door and had immediate access to those loaded firearms. Access to these firearms by the children could have resulted in serious bodily injury or death to any of the three children.”
The circumstances of the shooting are almost identical to a shooting on the same street, just two doors down, two years ago when Kathy MacDonald was shot–she says by her husband, Bobby MacDonald, then a police officer at the Flagler Beach Police Department. Bobby MacDonald, who has since retired to Tennessee, said Kathy–who now lives in a rehabilitation facility in Daytona Beach–shot herself. A Grand jury decline to indict MacDonald last April, but the case remains open. (The News-Journal’s Julie Murphy wrote an exhaustive account of the case in July.)
The latest shooting on Cherry Lane, in a 2,000 square foot yellow trailer at the end of Ash Street, took place just before 11:30 p.m., according to neighbors. “We were sitting up there in the kitchen, we never heard anything other than the cops and the helicopter,” a neighbor said around noon today, a couple of houses north of the Cherry Lane trailer.
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office’s Crime Scene Investigation unit had come and gone, and crime-scene tape, which had surrounded the house overnight and into the morning, had been removed. There was no activity at the trailer. Its porch light was on. Children’s toys were strewn in the front yard. A white Toyota was parked in the driveway.
A Florida State pennant hung limp in the breezeless air from a makeshift twig by the railing at the entrance. “May your troubles be less, your blessings more and may nothing but happiness come through your door,” a sign hanging by the front door reads, just above an eagle and a trumpet. “Forget the dog. Beware of owner,” says another, lower down by the railing of the steps leading to the entrance. A smaller sign in the window says: “Believe in miracles.”
The victim was flown to Halifax aboard Air One, Volusia County’s emergency helicopter. Her three children were afterward cared for by her mother, according to neighbors. The sheriff’s office is investigating.
Asked for details, Bob Weber, the Sheriff’s Office’s chief spokesman, did not respond until after this story posted, almost three hours after the original inquiry about the incident. Weber only noted the place and time of the incident, and that the “why” of the incident is exempt from disclosure. He provided a heavily redacted arrest report citing the child neglect charges for Canales. Sheriff Jim Manfre did not answer his cell phone.