A Sanford police car parked near the Trayvon Martin shooting scene was found with bullet holes in it, law enforcement officials said Tuesday.
The vehicle, a marked Chevy Impala, was parked in front of a school and near the gated Retreat at Twin Lakes, the epicenter of a controversial death and investigation involving the unarmed teenager and neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, who has claimed self-defense. He has not been charged in the case.
In a statement Tuesday, Sergeant David Morgenstern said, “Sanford Police parked a marked police vehicle in the parking lot of Bentley Elementary School … as a visible deterrent, due to tour buses using the school property to park during the day and evening hours. This morning, at approximately 4:30 am, unknown persons shot the police car several times. There were no injuries and the shooting in under investigation.”
Several holes were visible in the front windshield and bullets knocked out at least one window of the car. The shooting just outside the gated Florida community is another tense development in a mercurial case that has sparked rallies and racial discussions across the nation.
The Sanford Police Department has been vehemently scrutinized related to the events of February 26, the night Martin died. About three weeks ago, Police Chief Bill Lee announced that he was "temporarily" stepping down to avoid further distractions in the case. He was replaced by Capt. Darren Scott.
The Sanford shooting comes a day after Angela Corey, the special prosecutor assigned to the case, announced that she was cancelling the convening of a grand jury. The decision means that Corey alone will make the determination of whether Zimmerman faces charges in the case.
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Also late Monday, Zimmerman finally spoke publicly, debuting a new website to support his legal defense.