Community Information Specialist
ONE IN CUSTODY FOLLOWING SHOOTING ON WALTS AVENUE
What started out as an argument over a cigarette lighter later turned into a deadly encounter for a 30-year-old DeLand man.
But DeLand Police Officers with the help of the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office made sure the suspected killer didn’t get far. Juan Lopez, 18, was charged Thursday night with first-degree murder and aggravated assault with a firearm.
Based on witness accounts, Lopez and the gunshot victim, identified as Trevin Taylor, rode with a driver to the Royal Gas Station in DeLand to purchase beer. As they went in the store, Lopez took a baseball bat from the vehicle and harassed the clerk inside. As they were walking back to the vehicle, Taylor and Lopez got into an argument over a cigarette lighter that resulted in Lopez striking Taylor in the face with the bat and causing a minor injury to Taylor’s face.
After stopping at a residence to drink beer and use cocaine, Lopez, Taylor and the unidentified driver went to Taylor’s residence. As they got out of the vehicle, Lopez and Taylor got into another argument and the driver attempted to calm the situation. But witnesses say Lopez pulled a handgun from his waist and shot Taylor in the head. Taylor died in front of his residence.
The driver ran to the vehicle and fled home. Deputies later confronted that person, who was taken in for questioning and later released. It is believed Lopez fled on foot.
A woman, who was with her children in her vehicle and stopped at the intersection of Walts and Parsons Avenue, saw Lopez running down the street. He pointed the gun at her and continued to run. Lopez was captured with the assistance of Volusia County deputies near the intersection of Spring Garden and Talton Avenue.
“I’d like to commend our officers and Volusia County deputies for finding the suspect and getting him off the street,” said Acting Police Chief Randel Henderson. “Killers have no place in our society. This was a senseless act of violence that we will make sure does not go unpunished.”
Lopez is being held in the Volusia County Branch Jail without bail.
Administrative offices: West Volusia 386-736-5961 Daytona Beach 386-254-4689 New Smyrna Beach 386-423-3352
Non-emergency dispatch numbers: DeLand 386-943-8276 Daytona Beach 386-239-8276 New Smyrna Beach 386-409-8276 Osteen 407-323-0151