A man fired two shots at a car leaving the parking lot outside Palm Coast’s Freeda Zamba pool Monday afternoon, next to Belle Terre Park. The pool grounds were still active with children enrolled in the city’s extended-hour camp, though the pool itself, normally open until 7 p.m., had closed a short time before the shooting because of bad weather and didn’t reopen that evening.
Two city employees and a few campers were still at the facility, and initially parents were briefly kept from picking up their children after the shooting. “There was a little time when they weren’t letting parents come in to pick up their children and that was because it was in the immediate aftermath when they were securing the scene,” a city spokesperson said today.
Soon after the shooting a deputy alerted staff and children to stay inside, then “kept watch over the whole situation and made sure the children got to their parents.”
The facility is currently home to the city’s Parks and Recreation department, moved there pending the completion of the reconstruction of the Palm Coast Community Center on Palm Coast Parkway. The facility was again in use later that evening, with karate classes. “By and large it didn’t affect the city’s camp operations or the pool or the park because it wasn’t in a high use,” the spokesperson said. “The sheriff’s deputies arrived right away, and we were aware.”
The incident took place shortly before 6 p.m. No one was injured. No one was arrested.
A 48-year-old Palm Coast resident who witnessed the incident told a Flagler County Sheriff’s deputy that he saw a dark-colored vehicle parked in the parking lot, its black occupant appearing to await the arrival of someone else. Then a silver Nissan arrived. A white man, about 5’5”, got out of the car and began arguing with the occupant of the dark sedan. After “some time arguing,” according to the sheriff’s incident report, the dark sedan backed up from its parking spot and fled the area at high speed.
At that point, the witness told the deputy, the white man pulled a gun and fired two shots in the direction of the speeding car, then got into the silver Nissan and began to pursue the vehicle, speeding as well. The Nissan turned onto Parkview Drive. The witness couldn’t tell whether any of the rounds struck the vehicle, “nor was he able to obtain a better description of the individuals involved due to the fact that he was trying to protect his sports team from the foul weather,” according to the sheriff’s report.
Several deputies canvassed the area in search of both vehicles involved, with sections of that area of the P Section briefly closed to traffic, but no cars matching the descriptions given at Freeda Zamba were found. All local Hospital Emergency Rooms were made aware of the situation and were asked to contact the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office if anyone with a gunshot wound was treated.
In the parking lot outside the pool, a deputy found two small caliber handgun casings in the through way of the parking lot, including “a spent .380 auto casing,” according to the report. “The second round, which was located near a parking spot, was still live and it too was a .380 auto round,” the deputy reported. A crime scene was established around the area.
The spent and live rounds were collected and submitted for evidence. “Their understanding of it is that the incident happened more down toward where the entrance to the park is,” the city spokesperson said.
Freeda Zambe’s summer hours are from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. It’s not clear if there is surveillance video anywhere on the park or pool properties.
There are no surveillance cameras on the grounds of the facility. Contacted Monday evening by a reporter about unusual activity in the area, a sheriff’s spokesperson seemed unaware of the shooting, reporting only that there’d been a disturbance, a suspicious incident and a crash with possible injuries in the P Section around that time. The sheriff’s incident issued this afternoon detailed the situation.