The Bizarre World of Florida

Fury as police accidentally shoot dead pizza delivery driver after raiding WRONG apartment July 21, 2012

Filed under: Amazing,Bad Luck,Bizzarre,Death,Really Dumb,Shooting,WTF? — floridaduh @ 1:04 pm

The death of a man shot inside his home, by a  sheriff’s deputy who went to the wrong apartment looking for a criminal suspect,  has sparked protests this week over police procedures in the central Florida  city of Leesburg.

Andrew ‘Drew’ Scott, 26, a pizza delivery  driver, was shot dead at 1:30 a.m. on Sunday when deputies knocked on his  apartment door without identifying themselves as law enforcement  officers.

Scott opened his door holding a gun,  according to Lake County Sheriff spokesman Lieutenant John Herrell.

The Lake County Sheriff has no policy  requiring deputies to announce themselves, Herrell told Reuters.

Prominent Orlando lawyer Mark Nejame, who has  been hired by Scott’s family, told Reuters on Friday that lack of policy puts  gun-owning homeowners like Scott in a life-threatening dilemma.

‘If they go to the door and it’s a criminal,  fine. But if it turns out in the game of Russian roulette that it’s a law  enforcement officer, you’re dead,’ Nejame said.

Nejame said Scott acted reasonably and  legally in arming himself while trying to determine who was banging on his door  in the middle of the night.

Wrong guy: A sheriff's deputy went to the wrong apartment and didn't identify himself as a law enforcement officer when knocking

Wrong guy: A sheriff’s deputy went to the wrong  apartment and didn’t identify himself as a law enforcement officer when  knocking

Brian Evey, manager of the Hungry Howie’s  chain  where Scott worked in Leesburg, 45 miles northwest of Orlando, scheduled a candlelight vigil for Saturday night in front of Scott’s apartment  complex,  and marched with several dozen protesters earlier in the week  in front of the  sheriff’s office.

‘This could happen to anybody. We do not want  this to happen again,’ Evey said.

They said they mainly wanted to change the  law, so police must announce who they are when knocking.

Kyan Ware, a former prosecutor and  lawyer  for the Florida Civil Rights Association which is conducting its  own  investigation, on Friday called the shooting ‘a tapestry of  ineptitude’ in  which poorly trained deputies operating with little  information ‘acted on a  hunch that was wrong, that was miscalculated and ultimately resulted in an  innocent person’s death.’

At the time of the shooting, several deputies  were looking for Jonathon Brown, 31, who was involved in a beating 37 minutes  earlier in a different neighbourhood and fled the scene on a motorcycle,  according to Brown’s arrest affidavit.

Deputies found Brown’s motorcycle, still hot,  parked directly in front of Scott’s apartment although he was later located in  an adjacent apartment building, Herrell said.

‘When the person came to the door, the door  was flung open and the occupant in that apartment pointed a gun at the deputy’s  face … At that point, the deputy took the action he took, obviously he was in  fear for his life, and at that point he shot Mr. Scott,’ Herrell  said.

Herrell said he did not know why deputies  chose not to identify themselves as they knocked on Scott’s door, but that  decision was within the deputies’ discretion.

Ware said the deputy who shot Scott had  witnessed two other Lake County deputies shoot a suspect four days earlier, and  should have been placed on desk duty to recover from the trauma.

Evey said he hopes to get more people  involved in further protests until the sheriff’s department makes changes to  shore up public safety.

‘This guy lit up every room that he was in.  He was amazing. We want the whole country to know who this guy is,’ Evey said of  Scott


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