Gunman Fires Multiple Shots During Traffic Stop In West Melbourne

West Melbourne police seek whereabouts of gunman and female suspect.
West Melbourne police seek whereabouts of gunman and female suspect. Photo by West Melbourne Police Department.

WEST MELBOURNE, Florida – A West Melbourne Police Officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop Monday night, December 11, 2017 around 9:20 p.m. on Sylvan Drive in West Melbourne.

The vehicle he attempted to stop, a 2016 white Nissan Altima, had been speeding on Sheridan Road. As the vehicle proceeded down Sylvan Drive, the officer activated his emergency lights to conduct the stop.

The driver of the vehicle responded by firing multiple gunshots out the driver’s window at a West Melbourne police officer. The officer backed off, then again attempted to get closer to the vehicle to obtain the license plate number. The driver again fired multiple shots.

The officer was not injured and none of the rounds struck the police cruiser. The officer was not able to safely return fire.

Police lost sight of the vehicle when it proceeded back out to Sheridan Rd. The vehicle was located a short time later in the 400 block of Lemon Grove Ave.

Investigators obtained video surveillance from a residence that shows a male figure running from the vehicle which was left abandoned in the middle of the road. There is damage on the exterior of the vehicle consistent with bullet holes. Police believe the damage was caused by the driver.

The West Melbourne Police Officer involved in this incident is Officer Joseph Jones. Jones is an 18 year veteran of the force. Again, he was not injured during this incident and we are not aware of any other innocent victims.

All Detectives in West Melbourne’s Criminal Investigation Division are actively investigating this case and have identified two persons of interest: vehicle owner Amanda Michelle Peacock and her boyfriend Joseph Alan Bellinger.

Detectives have not been able to reach either person and would like to speak with them.

Anyone with information on this case, particularly the whereabouts of Peacock and Bellinger, is asked to contact West Melbourne Police. You can remain anonymous by calling Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS.

Stay up to date with West Melbourne News by subscribing to our newsletter. Click here to subscribe!

Andy Hodges began his career in the field of radio and TV broadcasting where he worked for about a decade. The Jupiter, Florida resident then pursued computers as they were coming to market in the late 1980’s. Andy has owned a computer business, been a software programmer, and has worked as a Senior Systems Analyst/Engineer in the Information Technology sector in Atlanta. He eventually returned to the area in 2002. Andy is also the Editor-in-Chief for Sebastian Daily.