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Florida Man Who Killed Pregnant Hit-And-Run Driver Won't Face Charges

Authorities say Andrew Derr acted in self-defense when he shot Sara Nicole Morales in front of her Florida home after she hit his motorcycle and pulled a gun on him and witnesses.

By Jax Miller

The state has declined to press charges against a Florida man who followed a pregnant woman home after she hit him with her car last autumn and when she pulled a gun on him, shot her.

Andrew Derr, 40, shot library assistant Sara Nicole Morales, 35, after he followed her to her Orange City home as part of an incident that Morales allegedly instigated by deliberately hitting his motorcycle with her car, as previously reported.

Following a review of the case, 7th Circuit State Attorney R.J. Larizza declined to press charges against Derr, The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.

“The State’s Attorney’s Office has completed a comprehensive review of this case,” Assistant State Attorney Bryan Shorstein said in a statement emailed to the outlet. “The Orange City Police Department concluded, after a thorough investigation, that the suspect would not be charged with a crime."

"While the facts in this case are truly heartbreaking, the law does not authorize the filing of any criminal charges," he added. "Our sincerest thoughts and prayers go out to the Morales family.”

According to the Orange City Police Department, officers responded to the 1400 block of N. Volusia Avenue after more than one call of a minor hit-and-run accident around 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 20, according to a statement sent to Oxygen.com. Witnesses reported that Morales, who was driving a blue Kia, intentionally hit Derr on his motorcycle and drove off.

“According to the investigation and independent witnesses that actually tried to get her to stop — and these are people that do not know Mr. Derr — she had swerved into him without making contact, and he said, ‘Hey… you almost hit me!’” Orange City Police Lt. Jason Sampsell told Oxygen.com in November. “She pulled up beside him and hit his motorcycle as he was going down the road, intentionally.”

When Derr and other independent witnesses followed Morales to the light at the end of the block, told her that police were on the way and commanded her to stop, she refused, took a left on Wisconsin Ave and drove off, according to Orlando CBS affiliate WKMG.

Witnesses and Derr followed Morales to what turned out to be her home on Wisconsin Ave, less than a mile from the accident, and again called 911 from their location to alert officers where the hit-and-run driver had stopped.

“Morales went into her house and re-emerged a short time later,” police said. “Morales confronted the witnesses and Derr as they were on the phone with 911.”

On audio of the 911 tape recorded after the three men arrived at Morales' house obtained by WKMG, a woman can be heard yelling "You are three men! You followed me!" followed by something else that's unintelligible.

The independent witnesses who followed Morales to her home — later identified as Cody Drew and Nicolas Hirst — both claimed Morales got her gun and came out to the road where the three were standing.

Drew stated in a police report that the “lady pulled in driveway of the house and came out to road to talk,” according to the News-Journal.

"Lady pulls a pistol and waves it at me and the guy on the bike and another witness," he added. "Guy on bike with black jacket pulls his pistol and unloads his clip on the lady in the blue car.”

Hirst's statement said much the same thing.

“She then pulled out a gun and waved it at the three of us,” Hirst reportedly said. “I stepped back, said ‘calm down,’ and before I knew it, the male motorcyclist drew his gun and shot the female what sounded like five times.”

On the 911 tape obtained by WKMG, the dispatcher asked the caller "Did somebody get shot?" and he responded,"Yes, ma'am, he shot... dude pulled a gun out and shot her in self defense."

"Why did he shoot her?" the dispatcher asked. "Because she pulled a gun out on him," the caller said.

Doreen Flaherty, Morales’s mother, was also present for the shooting and, according to Sampsell, supported witnesses’ accounts that Morales drew a weapon first.

Police say that, when Morales pointed her gun at Derr, Hirst and Drew, the motorcyclist — “having a valid Florida concealed weapons permit” — drew his handgun and shot Morales.

“[Derr] acted within the guidelines of Florida State statute,” Sampsell stated. “It’s self-defense.”

Sampsell previously sent Oxygen.com bodycam footage from officers arriving on the scene which shows Derr lying face-down and responding to officers’ commands.

“That girl tried to kill me. She pointed a gun at me,” Derr said from the ground. “I’m so sorry.”

The News-Journal reported Flaherty was unsatisfied with the state’s decision not to file charges against Derr.

"If he had not followed her in the first place, there would have been no need for him to feel the need to defend himself,” said Flaherty.

Morales, who was four or five months pregnant, also had an 11-year-old daughter who heard the gunshots from inside the house.

Calls from Oxygen.com to the Office of the State Attorney went unanswered.

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