Pastor's house targeted by drive by shooting, 'miracle' no one killed
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
LEHIGH ACRES - A Lehigh Acres pastor says it's a miracle no one was killed after five bullets were sprayed into his house and car this weekend.
"This is a nice neighborhood," said neighbor Jim Sherren. "We never had any problems here. And all of a sudden this happened."
The apparent random drive-by shooting happened around 2 a.m. Saturday morning off Sunshine Boulevard in Lehigh Acres.
Sherren remembers hearing a "pop, pop, pop, pop."
Five bullets were sprayed into Pastor Renato Caldas' home and mini-van while his family slept inside.
"One bullet hit right here," said Caldas, pointing to his mini-van which still had shattered glass. The back window is taped up.
"It shattered the whole back glass," he said.
The bullets pierced through the car coming inches from his child's car seat.
"It's scary," said Caldas. "Something needs to be done. This needs to stop."
Caldas was returning from a late night church service when he noticed the damage.
"What first went through your mind?," asked Fox 4 reporter Matt Grant.
"My family," said Caldas. "I ran into the house to see if everything was OK."
As it turns out, luck was on their side.
"This has to be the hand of God," said Caldas.
That's because, in the garage where Caldas holds weekly prayer sessions, one of the bullets was stopped by a water heater. On the other side of the wall, his wife and infant son were sleeping.
"This could have been a deadly situation," said Caldas. "And I still don't know why? There is a big question mark, why this happened? [I'm] speechless."
The Lee County Sheriff's Office would only say this is an open an ongoing investigation.
"Do you have any idea who could have done this?," asked Grant.
"No," said Caldas, who worries whoever did it could come back. "I have no enemies."
Because of the drive-by shooting, Caldas says he stays awake at night - keeping one eye on his family and the other on the street.
"Are you afraid for your family?," asked Grant.
"Yes," said Caldas. "I am."
Despite that, this man of faith has a message for whoever almost killed his wife and son.
"You're forgiven," said Caldas. "And if there's anything I did wrong I need a chance to apologize."
Caldas says he wants to press charges against whoever did this.
He estimates the damage to his home to be around $1000, which will not be covered by insurance, he says.
If you have any information about this case you're urged to call Crimestoppers at (800) 780-TIPS. You can stay anonymous and receive a cash reward.