Sheriff Grady Judd, “You Just Should Have Left” PCSO Investigating Shooting

August 23, 2020

By: Staff Report

POLK COUNTY, Fla. – On Saturday the Polk County Sheriff’s Office was investigating a fatal shooting that occurred in the unincorporated area of Auburndale. Preliminary information so far is as follows.

During the late evening hours of Friday, August 21, 2020, four friends (two men and two women) went to a pool hall in Lakeland to hang out. They left the pool hall and went to a liquor store where they purchased a bottle of whiskey, then drove to a house on Ellie Road in Auburndale. The house belonged to one of the two women. They arrived around 3:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 22, 2020.

Around 6:00 a.m., the other woman (not the homeowner) and her live-in boyfriend got into a heated argument. The boyfriend’s friend (witness) told the boyfriend they needed to leave, in an attempt to de-escalate the argument. The two men left, but the boyfriend, who was still angry, decided he was going back to the house because he wanted his girlfriend to come home with him. 

The boyfriend immediately began banging and kicking the front door, demanding that his girlfriend come out. He then went to the car, where the witness was still sitting and observing everything, and got a tire iron. He used the tire iron to break out a front window on the house, screaming and irate, and threatening to kill the two women inside. 

The homeowner retrieved her handgun, and fired towards the suspect, who was forcibly breaking into the house. She then called 911. When first responders arrived, he was deceased. 

The man takes the tire iron to a window. Sheriff Grady Judd said, “It appears to be a bedroom window and he screams and hollers. If you don’t let me in I’m knocking the windows out coming in. There’s no response. He takes the tire iron he begins to break into the home.”

The man then tears through the screen and breaks the glass with the tire iron and the homeowner shoots.

Sheriff Judd said, “And there’s where he dies. At the scene, you can see the tire iron at his feet. He’s deceased from his gunshot wound.”

“This is another incidence where you just should have left,” Judd said. “But when you came back to the house, that’s not your home and you tried to break in to get a girlfriend who did not want to go with you that was a bad choice and it was the last bad choice he’ll make.”

Sheriff Judd said, “You have the right to protect yourself in your home and to be free from home invaders. Armed burglars, and certainly he was armed with a tire iron and making an attempt to come into the window. She’s stopped him. She stopped him permanently.”

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