Lake City Man Killed In Van Fire Identified By Police

Motive Still Unclear


Daytona Beach, FL - The man who died after his van burst into flames at the Daytona Beach Police Department headquarters has finally been identified.

Investigators now say Gilbert M. Sellers of Lake City is the man who pulled his Ford van into the parking lot of the DBPD headquarters off Mason Avenue as it burned. When Sellers got out of the van, he made it five feet before collapsing dead in the parking lot.

Last week, DBPD Public Information Officer Messod Bendayan said one of the biggest challenges for investigators was trying to identify Sellers’ remains after he had been badly burnt. Regardless, investigators were able to establish some kind of identity thanks to the van’s registration, which gave them some insight into who Sellers was.

Police revealed not long after the incident that Sellers had a history of mental illness, and had been “Baker Acted” by the DBPD three times before in the past. Sellers also threatened to blow up the FBI building in Jacksonville. The Columbia County Sheriff's Office was called by Sellers’ sister to conduct a well-being check on him just days before the fire.

The initial investigation into the fire determined that the cause was not related to a mechanical issue. A plastic container with a clear liquid was also found in the van after the fire.