Update: Thanks to a tip received less than an hour after releasing his photo, Ashton Churchwell was taken into custody at 132 N. Boulevard Court, DeLand, and will be headed to the Volusia County Branch Jail. Video of his arrest is below:
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DELAND MAN SOUGHT IN ARMED HOME INVASION, PISTOL WHIPPING
Volusia County sheriff’s deputies are looking for a DeLand man accused of breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s house Monday morning, pistol-whipping her boyfriend and firing a shot in the home.
Ashton Churchwell, 24 (DOB 3/22/1994) fled the Monday-morning incident at 2408 Oak Park Drive, DeLand, after slashing all four tires on one vehicle outside the home, filling its gas and oil tanks with dirt and stealing its license plate. He also slashed a tire on another car parked at the house.
Responding deputies learned Churchwell and his ex-girlfriend had been arguing over child custody and parenting issues via text message the previous day, and he had threatened to shoot her. Around 7 a.m. Monday, Churchwell broke a window to get inside the house, hit his ex-girlfriend’s boyfriend in the head with his handgun and at one point fired it once in his direction. No one was shot in the incident, and EMS personnel treated the pistol-whip victim on scene for his head injury.
Churchwell’s last known vehicle is a silver or gray 2002 Toyota Camry SE with Florida tag HTZ N26. The tag he stole is Florida tag BNI D07, and he may be using it on his vehicle.
Churchwell has warrants out for his arrest on charges of attempted first-degree murder, armed burglary, aggravated battery with a firearm, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, burglary of a conveyance, grand theft firearm, grand theft and criminal mischief, with a total bond of $300,000.
Anyone with information about Churchwell’s whereabouts is asked to call 911. He should be considered armed and potentially dangerous. To be eligible for a cash reward of up to $5,000, you can also contact Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida at 888-277-TIPS, via the mobile app or on the web at www.northeastflorida.crimestoppersweb.com.
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