Men Sentenced in Misty Garden Circle Shooting

By: Leon County Sheriff's Office, Julie Montanaro Email
By: Leon County Sheriff's Office, Julie Montanaro Email
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UPDATED September 6, 2013
By Julie Montanaro

Both Deandre Ross and Demario Paramore were sentenced to 20 years in prison this week for opening fire on an SUV on Misty Garden Circle in January.

Neither man knew it, but there was an undercover Tallahassee police officer behind the wheel. He survived with just cuts from flying glass.

Ross and Paramore both received the minimum mandatory sentence.


UPDATED August 14, 2013
2:40 p.m. by Julie Montanaro

A jury deliberated for two hours before reaching a verdict in the attempted murder trial of Deandre Ross and Demario Paramore.

Both were found guilty of a lesser charge of attempted second degree murder and guilty of shooting into an occupied vehicle.

Sentencing has been set for September 4th.


UPDATED August 14, 2013
Noon by Julie Montanaro

The jury began deliberations shortly after noon.


UPDATED August 14, 2013
Noon by Julie Montanaro

Two men accused of opening fire on an undercover officer will soon be awaiting a verdict.

Deandre Ross and Demario Paramore are facing attempted murder charges for firing as many as 25 shots at the SUV on Misty Garden Circle in January. Their attorneys contend those shots were fired in self defense in the wake of a home invasion robbery.

Ross and Paramore told the judge this morning they had decided not to testify.

Attorneys are wrapping up closing arguments right now and the jury could begin deliberating within the hour.

We'll keep you posted on a verdict.


UPDATED August 13, 2013
6:30pm by Julie Montanaro

Two men are now on trial. They're accused of opening fire on an undercover Tallahassee Police Officer.

Defense attorneys contend the men were defending their home and themselves in the wake of a home invasion robbery.

"With one hand I saw him lift up his shirt. With the other hand I saw him take a pistol out of his waistband," Tallahassee Police Officer Michael Trowbridge said as he took the stand and described what happened.

Trowbridge was working undercover that night in January. He was in an unmarked car with dark tinted windows and he would ultimately find himself under fire on Misty Garden Circle.

"Then I heard gunshots immediately after that and then I felt glass hitting the right side of my face," he said.

Trowbridge escaped with his life, but deputies found 25 bullet casings in the street and 12 bullet holes in his car.

Deandre Ross and Demario Paramore are accused of firing those shots and are now on trial for attempted murder.

Both men say they had no idea the man in the black Ford Explorer was a police officer.

They had just been called home by a panicked and pregnant roomate who said someone had just kicked in the door and robbed the place.

"Mr. Ross did something that he was legally entitled to do. He picked up a legal gun that he owned," defense attorney Stacy Sharp said. "He armed himself with it not intending to hurt anyboyd but to protect himself and protect his home, to exercise his legal constitutional right and he fired."

Trowbridge says he didn't stop the car - or identify himself as a law enforcement officer -because he didn't want to blow his cover. Prosecutors told the jury that doesn't matter.

"It is true these defendants did not know he was a police officer, but they didn't know who he was and that is precisely the point. They were willing to kill him for driving down the street and being at the wrong place at the wrong time," prosecutor Georgia Cappleman said.

The shooting happened outside the city limits and prompted both a grand jury review and an internal affairs investigation into whether officers followed the rules of a mutal aid agreement that night.

The trial is expected to continue Wednesday.


Updated August 13, 2013
11:15am by Julie Montanaro

Tallahassee Police Officer Michael Trowbridge is now on the stand. He says his decision to flee from two men trying to flag him down on Misty Garden Circle was the "right option to save my life."

Trowbridge testified that he was in a black Ford Explorer with tinted windows. "I don't think they thought I was a law enforcement officer at all," Trowbridge said.

He says he was doing surveillance in the area in connection with a burglary investigation and heard what sounded like someone shaking a metal toolbox filled with tools. He says he radioed his fellow officers and told them it could have been a home invasion.

When he went to get a closer look, he testified, he did a u-turn in the cul de sac on Misty Garden Circle and that's when a man stood in front of his car and waved his arms to get him to stop. He testified he did not want to blow his cover so he kept going.

He went back to get the tag number of a silver car that was running, empty, with the dome lights on and the doors open. When he made a second u-turn in the cul de sac he says he saw two men flanking his car and one of the men reached into his waistband for a gun.

Trowbridge says he ducked down in his car, jerked the wheel and hit the gas, then he heard gunshots. He testified he felt glass hitting the side of his face.

On cross examination, Trowbridge said he briefly considered activating his lights and identifying himself as a law enforcement officer, but he did not want to blow his cover and did not have any way of knowing if the silver car or the men were linked to TPD's initial burglary investigation.

He said, "I wasn't thinking victims of a crime, I was thinking suspects."


August 13, 2013
By: Julie Montanaro

Two men are now on trial for attempted murder for opening fire on what turned out to be an undercover Tallahassee Police officer.

The shooting happened on Misty Garden Circle earlier this year.

Deandre Ross and Demario Paramore are accused of firing at the unmarked car 25 times.

Prosecutors say 12 bullets hit the car, but Officer Michael Trowbridge was not struck.

Prosecutor Georgia Cappleman told the jury the men did not know the driver of the unmarked car was a police officer but asked the jury "Did they have a right to stop him?" Or shoot at him? She asked the jury.

Attorneys for Ross and Paramore argue they did. Defense attorney Stacy Sharp told the jury a home invasion had just occurred at Ross's home on Misty Garden Circle.

Ross rushed home when he got a call from his roommate, Sharp said. She was six or seven months pregnant and hid in a closet during the break in, defense attorney Chuck Collins pointed out, and also called 911.

Ross waved with empty hands to try to get Trowbridge to stop when Trowbridge's car drove by his house the first time, his attorney said, but the car did not stop. When Trowbridge drove by a second time, Ross's attorney said, Ross was put in fear that the driver may have been connected to the break in or may be after him.

Ross did what he "was legally allowed to do, pick up a legal gun to defend his home," his attorney argued.


UDPATED
By Julie Montanaro
July 31, 2013

One officer was suspended and another received a written warning for decisions they made the night two men opened fire on a Tallahassee Police officer.

It happened on Misty Garden Circle in January.

An internal affairs report says two men fired at least 25 shots that night. 12 of them struck Officer Mike Trowbridge's unmarked car, but he sped off and was not hurt.

Trowbridge was outside the city limits at the time.

An internal affairs investigation found he did nothing wrong.

His sergeant, Gavin Larremore, was issued a written warning and his lieutenant, David Odom, was suspended for one day for failing to follow the rules of a mutual aid agreement with the sheriff's office.

The two men accused of firing the shots that night are scheduled to stand trial August 12th.


UPDATED
By Julie Montanaro
March 14, 2013

A grand jury blasted the Tallahassee Police Department for sending an officer beyond the city limits the night two men opened fire on his unmarked car.

The grand jury says TPD didn't follow its own rules that night.

It recommended a long list of changes and solving the problem altogether by consolidating law enforcement under the sheriff.

Two men are accused of opening fire on a Tallahassee Police officer's car on Misty Garden Circle back in January. It was hit 12 times.

A new grand jury presentment said the TPD officer knowingly went outside his jurisdiction, took action and never notified the Leon County Sheriff's Office as required by a mutual aid agreement.

"This is being investigated by our Internal Affairs division at this point so to speak about the case and the specifics of it, I'm not going to be able to do that," TPD Spokesman Dave Northway said.

The grand jury report indicates the Tallahassee Police officer was watching a suspicious vehicle and ultimately heard what he thought was a burglary in progress. When he went to get a closer look, the report says, he wound up on a dead end street under fire.

The grand jury report said officers never notified their watch commander and when TPD lieutenants were later asked what he was doing there, the sheriff says TPD couldn't offer a straight answer.

"They told my people they were there as part of the federal task force, with the U.S. Marshals task force, the U.S Marshals Service said they weren't. They said they were there as part of the ATF task force, the ATF says they weren't. They were trying to legitimize the fact that they were operating outside their jurisdiction," Campbell said.

The grand jury further criticized TPD for not beginning an internal investigation right away and contends as of Wednesday it had not interviewed anyone. It called that "cavalier and incompetent."

TPD denies that. Northway says it waited for LCSO to finish its criminal investigation which resulted in two men being arrested and charged with attempted murder.

"Once the criminal case is complete they will begin to do an internal investigation," Northway said.

The grand jury report said "We believe TPD was negligent in their failure to comply with the mutual aid agreement and the result is that a police officer was almost killed and a community was unnecessarily put in danger.

And as for the grand jury recommendation that TPD and LCSO consolidate under the sheriff ... a police spokesman says that is up to citizens to decide.

"In the past they have voted on this same topic, and each time we've had what we have now. which is the choice to be able to choose," Northway said. "That is not for the police department or anyone else to decide, it's for the constituents, the citizens to make that choice."

Tallahassee Police did not have a time line for completing its internal affairs investigation. We'll let you know when they do and what if any changes they decide to make.


UPDATED
By: Julie Montanaro
March 14, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - A grand jury presentment blasts the Tallahassee Police Department for its handling of a shooting on Misty Garden Circle in January.

A plain clothes officer's car was shot up; there were about a dozen bullet holes in his car and two men have been arrested for trying to kill him.

The grand jury says TPD was outside the city limits and outside of its jurisdiction that night and did not follow its own policies for notifying the Sheriff's Office.

It even called for law enforcement in the county to be consolidated under the sheriff.

WCTV will have reaction coming up tonight on Eyewitness News.


UPDATED
March 14, 2013

Press Release: Tallahassee Police Department

Please see the below message from Chief Dennis Jones:

On January 12, 2013, Officers from the Tallahassee Police Department were gathering information concerning a group of suspected burglars. The activities started within the City limits with information then leading officers to a location in the county, near 2824 Misty Garden Circle, just outside of the city limits. One of our officers had exited his vehicle in an attempt to determine the location of a suspicious vehicle when he heard a noise coming from that residence. The officer got into his unmarked car and drove to that location ultimately leading to shots being fired at the officer by two suspects. The Leon County Sheriff’s Office conducted the criminal investigation and charges were filed for attempted homicide of the police officer.

Beyond the criminal case, the State Attorney chose to take the case to the grand jury over the issue of mutual aid and whether the officer was working outside the city limits. I received a copy of the grand jury report last evening. From an administrative standpoint, I initiated an internal affairs investigation on February 11, 2013, after the grand jury approved the second degree murder charges against the suspects, so that I would have all the facts concerning the criminal charges. The purpose of our internal affairs investigation is to determine if department policies and procedures were followed. We will dedicate as much time as is needed to interview the more than 25 TPD and Sheriff's Office employees connected to this incident. Once the internal investigation is complete, I will fully consider the recommendations of the Grand Jury in making any changes to policies or procedures that are deemed necessary.

Since my appointment as chief, the Tallahassee Police Department and the Leon County Sheriff’s Office have worked extremely well together. I anticipate that our close working relationship will continue as we both work to help ensure the safety of citizens in our community.


UPDATED
By Julie Montanaro
February 13, 2013

A second man has been arrested and accused of opening fire on an undercover police officer's car.

18 year old Demario Paramore is now facing attempted murder charges too.

He and Deandre Ross are accused of firing at least 12 shots into an unmarked Tallahassee police car.

Neighbors on Misty Garden Circle were awakened by the gunfire back on January 12th.

The officer in the car managed to drive away. He was struck only by flying glass.

The grand jury is still reviewing the case, including why the officer was outside the city limits that night.


UPDATED
By Julie Montanaro
February 8, 2013

A Leon County grand jury is reviewing a shooting in which a police officer's car was riddled with bullets.

It happened January 12th on Misty Garden Circle. Two men are accused of opening fire on a Tallahassee Police officer's unmarked car. It was struck 12 times, but he was not hit and survived with minor injuries from flying grass.

This week, prosecutors say, a grand jury started to review possible charges in the case and discuss why the officer was outside the city limits at the time.

It heard nine hours of testimony Thursday and will reconvene next week for more testimony.


Tallahassee, FL - A Tallahassee police officer is lucky to be alive tonight after two men fired at least a dozen bullets into his car.

It happened at about midnight, this past Saturday, on Misty Garden Circle. Leon County Sheriff's deputies say the police officer heard what he thought was a burglary in progress and showed up in an unmarked car to investigate.

He soon came under fire by two men.

Neighbors say they heard 15 to 20 shots.

Justin Batt, Neighbor that Heard Shooting, stated, "everyone in the house was just you know curious to know what was going on, so we all stood outside and then about 15 or 16 cop cars pulled up and they started tellin' us everything that was going on."

21 year old, Deandre Ross, is accused of attempted murder and shooting into an occupied vehicle.

Deputies say Ross had no idea the man in the truck was a police officer. Deputies are still looking for a second shooter. So far, Tallahassee Police have no comment on the case.


UPDATED 1.15.2013 by Julie Montanaro

A Tallahassee police officer is lucky to be alive tonight after two men fired at least a dozen bullets into his car.

It happened at about midnight Saturday on Misty Garden Circle. Leon County Sheriff's deputies say the police officer heard what he thought was a burglary in progress and showed up in an unmarked car to investigate.

He soon came under fire by two men.

Neighbors say they heard 15 to 20 shots and sent us pictures of the officer's truck with bullet holes in it.

"The officer sustained some minor injuries from broken glass and debris flying around the vehicle. The vehicle was shot at multiple times. We've confirmed the vehicle was hit at least twelve," LCSO Spokesman James McQuaig said.

21 year old Deandre Ross is accused of attempted murder and shooting into an occupied vehicle. Deputies say Ross had no idea the man in the truck was a police officer.

They say moments earlier someone had broken into Ross's home and stolen a safe. His girlfriend called 911.

Deputies are still looking for a second shooter.

Tallahassee Police so far have no comment on the case.


Leon County Sheriff's Office Release: LCSO Investigating Shooting Incident on Misty Garden Circle

At 11:45 p.m. on January 12, 2012, a Tallahassee Police Officer investigating an unrelated incident heard what he believed to be a burglary in progress in the area of the 2800 block of Misty Garden Circle.

The officer drove his unmarked police vehicle onto Misty Garden Circle in an attempt to locate signs of an obvious burglary so he could report it. As the officer checked the area he observed a silver vehicle following him. He also observed two males walking on opposite sides of Misty Garden Circle.

The officer perceived this to be a dangerous situation and radioed for assistance. As he arrived in front of 2824 Misty Garden Circle, a black male jumped into the roadway. The officer veered his vehicle to the left and drove around the man, who was observed lifting his shirt and pulling a handgun from his waist. As the officer continued, the man fired multiple shots at the officer’s vehicle.

At 11:52 p.m., the Leon County Sheriff’s Office received a residential burglary report at 2824 Misty Garden Circle. During the call, Antwanette Faust reported that several males had just broken into her residence and removed a large safe.

Responding deputies were initially unable to locate any victims at 2824 Misty Garden Circle, but did observe evidence of a recent burglary. When Detectives located Faust, she reported calling her boyfriend, Deandre Ross, and then 911. Shortly after the 911 call, she heard multiple gunshots, disconnected the phone and fled the area on foot.

Detectives with the Violent Crimes and Crime Scene units responded to the scene and are investigating both the burglary and the shooting. Detectives canvassed the area collecting witness statements and conducting interviews while Crime Scene Detectives processed crime scenes and collected forensic evidence.

Detectives also learned that after the shooting took place, two vehicles were observed fleeing the area at a high rate of speed. Detectives confirmed there was at least one additional person shooting at the vehicle.

On January 14, 2013, Deandre M. Ross, who lives at 2824 Misty Garden Circle, was interviewed at the Leon County Sheriff’s Office in reference to this incident. Detectives confirmed that Ross had arrived home between the time of the burglary and the time the officer arrived on Misty Garden Circle.

Subsequent to this interview, Ross was arrested and taken to the Leon County Jail.

The officer’s vehicle was struck 12 times by shots fired during this incident. The officer did receive minor injuries from flying glass. This investigation is continuing and additional arrests are likely.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Leon County Sheriff’s Office at (850) 922-3300 or Crime Stoppers at (850) 574-TIPS (8477). Remember, Crime Stoppers does not want your name, just your information. You could be eligible for up to a $1,000.00 reward.


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