• Stray bullet strikes DeLand church early New Year's Day

    By: WFTV Web Staff

    Updated:

    DELAND, Fla. - A stray bullet hit a church by Clara and Beresford Avenues in DeLand shortly after 1:00 a.m. Monday morning, police said.

     

    The stray bullet hit the side of the building shattering a window while 80 members, including children, were inside eating breakfast following a midnight service at Antioch Baptist Church.

     

    Police report there was an active function inside the church at the time, but no injuries were reported.

    "I said, 'Everybody get down, everybody get down,'" executive pastor Marie McBryde said. "'Everybody on the floor.'"

     

    The entire room panicked after the shot hit the building, McBryde said.

     

    "They were under the tables in the corners, on the chairs, on top of each other trying to secure and save one another," she said. "We even had kids in here screaming and hollering."

     

    The bullet hit the floor without injuring anyone, but McBryde said it came perilously close to her husband, who is pastor at Antioch Baptist Church, and her 14-year-old son.

     

    The bullet was collected for evidence.

     

    Investigators said they believe the shot was from celebratory fire from groups marking the new year.

     

    Read more stories from Volusia County.

     

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