WEST MELBOURNE, Fla. (FOX 35 WOFL) - The West Melbourne Police Department says that one of their officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the night of December 12th on Sylvan Drive. The vehicle he was trying to stop, a 2016 white Nissan Altima, was speeding.
However, the department says that after the officer activated his emergency lights to conduct the stop, the driver of the Altima fired multiple gun shots at the officer out of the driver's window. The officer backed off, then again attempted to get closer to the vehicle to obtain a license plate number. Once again, the driver fired multiple shots.
The officer was said to have not been injured, as none of the rounds struck the police car. The officer was not able to safely return fire.
The West Melbourne Police Department says that although the officer lost sight of the vehicle, the Nissan Altima was located a short time later on Lemon Grove avenue. They say they have surveillance from a residence that shows a male figure running from the vehicle, which was left abandoned in the middle of the road.
The department also says that there is damage on the exterior of the Altima that is consistent with bullet holes. They believe that damage ws caused by the driver.
Detectives in the department's Criminal Investigation Division are reported to be investigating this case and have identified two persons of interest: vehicle owner Amanda Michelle Peacock and her boyfriend Joseph Alan Bellinger.
Amanda Michelle Parker is in contact with the police, but she is not currently in the Brevard County area. She is cooperating with the investigation and police do not believe she was in the vehicle at the time of this incident. Police say that there is no reason t believe Amanda Peacock was involved.
The West Melbourne Police says they partnered with the Palm Bay Police Department's SWAT Team to service a search warrant to Bellinger. He was taken into custody without incident and charged with attempted felony murder of a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault with a firearm, aggravated fleeing and attempting to elude a law enforcement officer, and discharging a firearm in public.
Bellinger will be incarcerated at the Brevard County Jail with no bond.