Office of Public Affairs & Media Relations
SHOOTER IN BACK-TO-BACK DRIVE-BY SHOOTINGS IDENTIFIED, ARRESTED ALONG WITH 2 OTHERS
The shooter in a pair of recent drive-by shootings at a Holly Hill-area apartment building is in custody after Volusia County sheriff’s detectives identified him and worked with detectives in Flagler County to put him behind bars.
Dhaighamyoosuf Tariq Khawaja, 28 (DOB 10/23/1989), of Palm Coast, was arrested Wednesday in Flagler County after detectives located him riding in the van believed to have been used in at least one of the shootings. Charged with one count of shooting into an occupied dwelling and two counts of shooting into an unoccupied dwelling, Khawaja was being held on $300,000 bond Thursday at the Flagler County Jail.
"Thank God no one was hurt or killed by this idiot's little shooting spree," Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said. "The hard work on this case by our detectives and Flagler County's detectives just goes to show you that we're all in this together."
"FCSO and VCSO are committed to working together to get these offenders off the streets and into jail," added Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly. "I am proud of our deputies for keeping eyes on the suspect and keeping constant communication with Volusia so that Khawaja could be picked up as soon as the warrant was in hand."
The first shooting happened early Monday at 1502 Old Kings Road in Holly Hill, where a woman heard gunshots around 4 a.m. and later found a vehicle with a shattered rear window. No one was injured, but deputies discovered five bullet holes in a vacant apartment nearby. One round went through the front door and through a bathroom wall. The others went into a rear wall of the apartment, with two of them lodging in the wall and two others passing through the wall and into a privacy fence outside.
Deputies responded again to the same building around 11:51 p.m. Tuesday after another shooting. Again, luckily, no one was injured. One apartment resident told deputies she was in the bathroom doing her eyebrows when a bullet came through the wall. She crawled into the shower to take cover. She was one of four people in the building who heard the gunshots and took cover inside.
Detectives identified Khawaja as the suspect and determined he was shooting up the apartments because he believed someone there stole a gun. They also learned he drives his father’s beige 2003 Toyota van – the type of van seen in the area during the investigation of the first shooting.
A phone call between Khawaja and his intended victim indicated Khawaja meant to continue shooting up the apartment until he got back his stolen gun. In the phone call, the victim asked Khawaja to stop shooting at his mother’s apartment. Khawaja responded: “Bro. I’m shooting that s*** every day til I get my s*** back. Every day, that’s me sending them shots, bro... I’m killing your mom tonight. Your mom is getting shot if I don’t get my s***.”
Flagler County sheriff’s detectives spotted the van Wednesday and started following it. Khawaja was a passenger; the van was driven by 25-year-old Christopher Cordova (DOB 2/17/1993). The van went to Khawaja’s home and then left with a small red car following behind. Flagler deputies stopped both vehicles, arrested Khawaja on his active warrant and arrested Cordova for driving with a suspended license. In the red car that was following behind, detectives found a gun and a mask. That driver, 23-year-old Allen J. Brown (DOB 12/1/1994), was charged with unlicensed carrying of a firearm.
Detectives are continuing to investigate the incidents.
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