‘It was mayhem’: Sanford residents describe moment shootout erupted between deputies, suspect

SANFORD, Fla. — Residents of one Sanford neighborhood are still reeling after gunfire between deputies and a person of interest in a Volusia County murder case erupted in the middle of the day.

Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma said no one other than Brandon McLean, the person of interest in the case, was injured, but that several houses were hit with bullets.

READ: Person of interest in Osteen homicide released from prison 6 weeks before shootout with deputies, sheriff says

Lemma said gunfire was exchanged between McLean and deputies as he ran between homes and along neighborhood streets.

Lemma said McLean had the victim’s driver’s license with him along with a knife that was folded up and a magazine with a semi-automatic extended magazine 9 millimeter.

Volusia County deputies believe McLean was involved in a case where a woman was stabbed and slashed and then her body was dumped on an Osteen trail.

READ: ‘I’m glad she knew that I loved her’: Mother remembers daughter after she was killed, dumped on Osteen trail

Investigators were still on scene in the neighborhood on Thursday searching for shell casings and other evidence in backyards.

“It was just kind of mayhem and my daughter was outside with my grandson,” one neighbor, who did not want to be identified, said.

She said she initially heard several tapping sounds, and at first she didn’t think it was gunfire.

READ: Death investigation underway in Volusia County

“She grabbed the baby and as she was grabbing the baby the suspect was running across the field shooting sideways and there was just a lot of gunfire going,” she said.

Another neighbor, Matt Lemaster, said his dogs started barking and went outside to see what was going on. He said he saw McLean run between the houses, stumble a bit, then keep running across the street.

READ: ‘The worst luck’: Woman hit in the head by turtle after it smashes through windshield on I-95

“As he was approaching the house across the street on my side, two cops came running out from behind the house there was an exchange of gunfire and then they all went into the backyard,” Lemaster said.

Deputies said McLean was shot at least five times. He remains in the hospital in stable condition.

He is facing charges here in Seminole County, including attempted homicide on a law enforcement officer.

Jeff Levkulich, WFTV.com

Jeff Levkulich joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in June 2015.

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.