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.
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.
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.
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.
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.