Six shots were fired into a police cruiser early Tuesday morning in the neighborhood where 17-year old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed.
The cruiser, which was parked in front of the "Retreat at Twin Lakes" apartment complex near Bentley Elementary School, was unoccupied at the time of the shooting. School authorities asked that it be parked there several weeks ago because of escalated security concerns, but it has now been removed because of the damage. Reports say that gunfire knocked out at least one of the car's windows.
Since the Trayvon Martin shooting, residents of the town say tensions have reached a "boiling point." One official told ABC News that the emergency operation centers in at least three nearby counties have been raised to Level II- the same level enacted before a hurricane.
The city's mayor, Jeff Triplett, reportedly acknowledged the tension and tried to calm the situation.
"Are we a kindling box? Sure," he said. "But we're working down a path and so far it's been absolutely peaceful."
He reiterates that the city hopes to avoid violence, even allowing protesters to shut down the Sanford Police Department Monday.
However, matters may have reached beyond the mayor's control. Across the country, people have been outraged by the shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman. ABC reports:
In Detroit, far from the Florida town where Martin was shot and killed, drivers were shocked on Sunday to see an electronic highway sign with the word "Trayvon" followed by a racial slur. The offensive message was quickly erased.
At Ohio State University last week the words "Long Live Zimmerman" were scrawled across the side of the Frank W. Hale Jr. Black Cultural Center, a part of the university's Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
In Sanford, where the shooting took place, the specter of racism is ubiquitous.
A group of armed neo-Nazis from the National Socialist Movement have descended upon the town, touting their intention to patrol the town to protect whites against a race riot.
George Zimmerman, who shot Trayvon Martin, broke his silence on Monday and maintains he acted in self-defense. He has been in hiding for several weeks, particularly since the New Black Panthers issued a $10,000 bounty for his capture, dead or alive.