Gunman who shot at West Melbourne officer arrested

Man who shot at West Melbourne police officer arrested on attempted murder charge.
Man who shot at West Melbourne police officer arrested on attempted murder charge. Photo by Brevard County Jail.

WEST MELBOURNE, Florida – A man who shot at a West Melbourne officer Monday night during an attempted traffic stop has been arrested and charged with attempted murder.

Joseph Alan Bellinger, 27, was allegedly speeding along Sheridan Road about 9:30 p.m. Monday and fired about a dozen shots at the officer who was trying to pull him, according to West Melbourne police.

Bellinger was arrested Tuesday night on multiple charges that include attempted murder, discharging a firearm in public, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill, and fleeing and eluding a police officer.

When the officer activated his emergency lights to pull over Bellinger, “the driver then fired multiple shots at the officer,” Capt. Richard Cordeau of the West Melbourne Police Department said.

The officer attempted to get the tag information on the vehicle when he heard the gunshots.

“The officer was not injured and his vehicle was not struck. The officer was not able to return fire,” Cordeau added.

The officer, who has worked with the West Melbourne Police Department for 18 years, was not injured.

The vehicle owner was identified as Amanda Michelle Peacock, 31, and her boyfriend, Bellinger, as the people of interest. Peacock contacted authorities Tuesday.

Police say there is no reason to believe Amanda Peacock was involved, and she has been cooperating with investigators.

Bellinger is currently incarcerated at the Brevard County Jail with no bond. Additional charges are pending.

DISCLAIMER: Arrests and mugshots were made public by complaint affidavits, arrest affidavits, and police reports. All persons arrested are innocent until proven guilty.

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Raised in Jupiter, Florida, Andy Hodges began his career in the field of radio and TV broadcasting where he worked for about 12 years. He would make a career change to computer programming. Andy spent seven years working for tech companies, including Delta Airlines in Atlanta as a Senior Systems Analyst. In 2002, he moved to Sebastian, Florida. Andy is also the Editor-in-Chief for Sebastian Daily.
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