Investigation Ordered into Shots Fired at Delivery People who Mistook Address

April 24, 2023

A Florida prosecutor has ordered an investigation after a homeowner allegedly fired at the car of two Instacart delivery people who mistook his address.

Waldes Thomas Jr., age19, and Diamond D’arville, age 20, were in an upscale Fort Lauderdale suburb called Southwest Ranches, attempting to deliver groceries on April 15, when they were on the phone with the customer trying to find the right address, according to a Police report. 

The pair reportedly drove onto the property of Antonio Caccavale. The 43-year-old told police that upon seeing their car on his property he ordered his teenage son to tell them to leave.

The son told police that the delivery team were driving “erratically” and began running over logs, boulders and a fence on the property.

Caccavale told police he feared for his safety and that of his son when he shot several rounds from his handgun into the tires of the car.

The delivery team told police that they were attempting “to reverse out of the area” when they accidentally hit a boulder. They say Caccavle approached and grabbed onto the driver door window. 

The delivery team departed after hearing three close gunshots, according to Thomas.

The incident is the latest in a series over less than two weeks in which people have been shot at for honest mistakes.

Kansas City police are investigating what they said were “racial components” that factored into the shooting and critical wounding of a 16-year-old boy who knocked on the wrong door when looking for his younger brothers.

That was April 13. On April 17 at least two incidents occurred in one day. One involved the shooting and wounding of a North Carolina couple and their 6-year-old daughter who reportedly went to retrieve a basketball that had rolled into the neighbor’s yard. In Texas two cheerleaders were shot at and wounded when they accidentally got into the wrong car in a supermarket parking lot.

And an incident similar to the delivery team’s mistake—driving onto the wrong driveway—got four people shot at, one fatally, in upstate New York on April 15.

Jonathan Metzl, who directs Vanderbilt University’s Department of Medicine, Health and Society, said the incidents show how “stand your ground” laws have fueled a belief that people can fire off guns “anytime they perceive a threat.”

Florida, where the delivery team were shot at, was the first of at least 27 states to pass a “stand your ground” law, in 2005. These laws, which generally allow people to defend themselves when threatened, often apply to specific locations, such as one’s home or place of work—so called, “castle doctrines” or “defense of habitation” laws.

However, such laws do not provide a blanket defense for shooting at anyone who approaches you.  According to S. David Mitchell, a law professor at the University of Missouri, a “reasonable fear” must apply.

According to the report from the Davie, Florida police department, which has jurisdiction in the delivery car shooting, without any video, the lead detective on the case couldn’t determine whether either the shooter or the delivery team committed a crime. The homeowner’s gun has since been returned to him.

However, Broward County State Attorney Harold Pryor issued a statement saying police investigators never contacted his office about shooting.

“I contacted the Davie Police Department to request a full investigation,” Pryor said Friday, adding that his prosecutors will decide whether charges should be filed.

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