From the Sanford Police Department and staff reports

The Sanford Police Department (SPD) are currently investigating the shooting of a burglary suspect, an African American, 17 yr old male*, which occurred outside of a residence on Garrison Drive in Sanford.

On May 5, 2020, at 1:12 am, SPD received a 9-1-1 call of a possible burglary in progress from a woman later identified as the homeowner’s wife. The 9-1-1 call audio begins with the operator identifying ‘9-1-1’, and immediately two gun shots are heard, fired simultaneously. A few seconds of indiscriminate voices follow, and then the caller exclaims, ‘Somebody’s in the house’. The 9-1-1 operator asks for the address and a male, later identified as the homeowner and husband, picks up from there.

Per the SPD press conference, the homeowner reported that his wife, who had been feeding their infant, had woken him up because she heard noises outside of their home. While she made the 9-1-1 call, he had grabbed his gun and gone to the front door to investigate.

As the homeowner opened the door, he observed an unknown person inside the gated and fenced front yard. The homeowner saw the suspect between two vehicles in the driveway.

The homeowner yelled at the suspect and fired two rounds, then yells again. The suspect then fled the front yard on foot.

After the 9-1-1 operator explained to the homeowner that she was ‘putting the call in now’ [to send the police], she asked if he knew the suspect at all, to which he replied, ‘No, no, it’s a guy without a shirt. Please hurry up.’ The operator then asked if he [the suspect] was ‘Black, White, or Hispanic?’. The homeowner replies, ‘He was like a white guy… he was white, he wasn’t black.’ She then asks, ‘How old did he look?’ The homeowner says, ‘I don’t know, mid-20’s, 30’s…’.

The Sanford Police Department press conference slides show a diagram of the residence, and indicated the “area in front of the residence was dark” (where the homeowner was apparently standing when the incident occurred), and that the only light was “a porch light attached to car port / porch”. Per the press conference, it appeared “from this angle that the victim [homeowner] would have difficulty with clear view of suspect”. The approximate distance from the front door to the initial location of the suspect was between 18-20 feet.

Just five minutes after the 9-1-1 call, at 1:17 am, the responding officers arrived and discovered the suspect lying unresponsive in the road on Garrison Drive, just a short distance from the home, with a gunshot wound to his back.

Officers performed lifesaving efforts on the suspect before he was transported to Central Florida Regional Hospital. The suspect died, however, at the hospital as result of
the gunshot wound.

A large rock and car battery were located near the passenger door of a car parked on homeowner’s property, and the SPD noted that the marks on the [car] window were consistent with an attempt to break the window with a rock or car battery.

The investigation is ongoing. The State Attorney’s office is conducting a preliminary review of the case.

Anyone having additional information is asked to contact Crimeline at 800 423-TIPS (8477) or visit www.crimeline.org. Calls made to Crimeline remain anonymous, and tips to Crimeline that lead to solving a felony case are eligible for a cash reward of up to $5,000 dollars.

*It is the policy of The Seminole Source not to release the names of juvenile victims or suspects

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