Autopsy Report Reveals Man Had Cocaine in System When Fatally Shot by TPD Officer

Courtesy: Banks Memorial Funeral Home
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By: WCTV Eyewitness News
April 21, 2015

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A man shot and killed by police in early February was found to have been shot 5 times and had cocaine in his system, according to an autopsy report released Tuesday.

The report from the medical examiners office revealed that 28-year-old Jeremy Lett was killed by five gunshot wounds to the torso and left upper arm.

The report also revealed that Lett had cocaine in his system at the time of his death.

Lett was shot and killed by Tallahassee Police Officer David Stith on February 4th when Stith was responding to a burglary report.

According to eyewitness accounts and testimony, Lett and Officer Stith struggled before Lett was shot by Stith as he was pinning the officer to the ground.

Stith was later cleared of any wrongdoing by a grand jury on February 27th when it was concluded that Officer Stith was justified in his use of deadly force.


By: Julie Montanaro
February 27, 2015, 7pm

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A Tallahassee Police officer has been cleared of wrongdoing in a deadly shooting. That finding came from a Leon County Grand Jury today.

The grand jury decided Officer David Stith was justified in his use of deadly force in the February 4th shooting.

Newly released court documents (see attached document) describe the scene that night.

Stith was responding to a burglary call at the Shadow Ridge Apartments on West Tharpe Street. He encountered a man on the caller's front porch with his hand in his pocket that matched the description of the suspect. It was Jeremy Lett.

Court documents show officer Stith then approached Lett with his weapon drawn shouting, "Tallahassee Police! Show me your hands!"

Lett then yelled and tried to tackle Stith multiple times.

The documents go on to say Stith attempted to use his taser on Lett but it didn't work and even shocked Stith in the rain.

Stith was tackled and pinned to the ground by Lett and that is when he fired his gun, killing Lett.

An eyewitness testified having seen and heard the struggle between the two men and says Lett "jumped on the guy's back."

Chief Michael DeLeo says now that this review is complete the department will internally review the shooting.


By: Julie Montanaro
February 27, 2015

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A grand jury is meeting behind closed doors for a second day, reviewing a deadly police shooting at the Shadow Ridge Apartments earlier this month.

The grand jury has not yet made a decision on whether or not an officer will be deemed justified in using deadly force that day.

Officer David Stith responded to a burglary call at the Shadow Ridge Apartments on Tharpe Street on February 4th and confronted a man who matched the description of a burglary suspect.

It turned physical and Stith wound up shooting and killing Jeremy Lett.

The Grand Jury has heard from a witness, watched a videotaped interview with Officer Smith and seen a tactics demonstration.

WCTV will update this story as more information becomes available.


UPDATED:
By: Chris Gros
February 26, 2015

Tallahassee, FL - The grand jury did not issue a presentment on the case Thursday.

Instead, the grand jury will reconvene Friday morning to further review the deadly police shooting from February 4th.

That's when TPD says Officer David Stith responded to a burglary call at the Shadow Ridge apartments and confronted Jeremy Lett, who he says matched the description of the burglary suspect. It became a physical confrontation and Stith wound up shooting and killing Lett.

Eyewitness News will be at the Leon County Courthouse tomorrow. We'll bring more information as it becomes available.


By: Julie Montanaro
February 26, 2015

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A Leon County Grand Jury is now reviewing a deadly police shooting that occurred earlier this month.

Tallahassee Police officer David Stith shot and killed Jeremy Lett at an apartment complex on Tharpe Street earlier this month.

The Grand Jury is meeting behind closed doors on the third floor of the Leon County Courthouse.

At this time, Officer Stith has not yet gone in the room to testify.

A witness testified for about 20 minutes and officers wheeled in a life size cardboard cut out. An officer in a jumpsuit who prosecutors called a role player was also in the room.

TPD says Officer Stith responded to a burglary call at the Shadow Ridge apartments on February 4th and confronted Jeremy Lett, who he says matched the description of the burglary suspect. It became a physical confrontation and Stith wound up shooting and killing Lett.

A handful of protesters gathered outside the courthouse yesterday demanding that the state attorney charge the officer with a crime.

The grand jury in this circuit has always found officers use of force justified.

WCTV will update this story as more information becomes available.


By: WCTV Eywitness News
February 6, 2015

Update: TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Officer David Stith is on paid suspension after he shot and killed 28-year-old Jeremy Lett on Wednesday.

TPD says Officer Lett was responding to a burglary call along West Tharpe when he got into an altercation with the suspect and fired his weapon, killing Jeremy Lett. The incident is under investigation.

We looked at Officer Stith's personnel file, which showed he's faced issues in the past. In a review of Stith's files, an April 2014 memo showed he was disciplined three times since May of 2012.

Another memo shows that discipline included a week-long unpaid suspension for entering the Girl Scouts office, acting aggressively and using profane language.

That history lead to another week-long suspension last May for not following department rules on a domestic violence call.

The files also showed satisfactory annual reviews of the officer's overall performance and positive feedback from some citizens.

The case will go to the state attorney and be presented to a grand jury. TPD Internal Affairs will also investigate.


By: WCTV Eywitness News

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Tallahassee police say the suspect shot by an officer who was responding to a burglary Wednesday evening has died.

TPD says that 28-year-old Jeremy Lett succumbed to his injuries after being shot by Officer David Stith during a physical altercation.

Officer Stith was not injured during the incident.

Police say that the investigation is still ongoing to determine more details of what happened. The Violent Crimes Unit is still interviewing witnesses and collecting evidence.

TPD is coordinating with the Office of the Medical Examiner and the State Attorney’s Office to ensure a thorough investigation is completed. The case will be presented to a grand jury for review.

TPD says An Internal Affairs investigation will determine if officer Stith followed established policy.


Press Release: Tallahassee Police Department
February 4, 2015 11 p.m.

UPDATE: On February 4th around 8pm, the Tallahassee Police Department received a call for service indicating a burglary in progress in the 2400 block of West Tharpe Street.

An officer was in close proximity and responded to the area. Upon arriving on scene, the officer encountered a male subject matching the description provided. The officer made contact with the subject and a physical altercation ensued, resulting in the officer discharging his service weapon.

The subject has been transported to a local hospital for treatment.

Investigators with TPD's Violent Crimes Unit and Forensics Unit were called to the scene and have assumed responsibility of the investigation, collecting evidence and interviewing witnesses.

Additional updates will be provided as it becomes available.


By: WCTV Eyewitness News
February 4, 2015

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The Tallahassee Police Department is currently investigating a crime scene at the Shadow Ridge Apartments in the 2400 Block of West Tharpe Street.

Multiple TPD units are on scene. The Tallahassee Fire Department and Leon County EMS have also responded.

Eastbound lanes of Tharpe are closed at Trimble Rd. Westbound traffic is open, but there are delays due to an accident involving a police cruiser at Tharpe Street and Ivan Drive.

We'll have more information as it becomes available.




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