POLK COUNTY, FL. – The woman who threatened a Polk County Sheriff’s Office patrol sergeant on Thursday, November 11, and who was shot and killed as she advanced at the sergeant with a shovel, was 24-year-old Jessiram Hweih Rivera of Winter Haven.
Rivera had an extensive arrest criminal history, including violent felonies, and including a previous battery on a law enforcement officer, according to Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
On Thursday, Deputies were called to the area regarding a suspicious woman who was walking in and out of moving traffic on Rifle Range Road near Noles Lane in Wahneta.
Patrol Sergeant Sean Speakman, 46, arrived in the area at approximately 3:26 p.m. He located Rivera just south of Redemption Baptist Church on the west side of Rifle Range Road and attempted to speak with her.
She was in an obvious state of agitation and she was holding a shovel. As Sergeant Speakman was talking with the woman on a private dirt driveway, she raised the shovel, pointing it towards the Sergeant, and began advancing towards him.
The Sergeant gave her verbal commands to stop and put the shovel down multiple times and began backing away. She did not put the shovel down, and continued to advance towards the Sergeant, threatening him with the shovel. The Sergeant fired four shots, striking the woman.
Sergeant Speakman radioed that shots had been fired and began life-saving measures, including CPR, and continued until Polk County Fire Rescue arrived. Polk County Fire/EMS took over life-saving efforts.
Rivera was transported to a local hospital, where she was declared deceased.
Sergeant Sean Speakman, 46, was hired by the PCSO in 1998 and began working in Information Technologies. He entered the training academy and became a deputy Sheriff in 2005. He was promoted to Sergeant in 2018. He is a patrol sergeant working in the Southeast District.
Standard protocol for all deputy-involved shootings include four independent investigations: the PCSO Homicide Unit is conducting a death investigation, PCSO Administrative Investigations is conducting an administrative inquiry, the State Attorney’s Office responded to the scene and will conduct a separate investigation, and the 10th District Medical Examiner’s Office will conduct an investigation to determine the cause and manner of death.
“Per agency protocol the member involved will be on administrative leave with pay during the initial phase of the investigation,” said PCSO in a statement.
Rivera’s criminal history includes: 12/19/2013; Osceola County SO; Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon (F) 11/03/2016; Osceola County SO; Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon (F) 12/04/2017; Kissimmee PD; Battery on Law Enforcement Officer (F) Guilty/Convicted 12/04/2017; Kissimmee PD; Criminal Mischief (M) 12/04/2017; Kissimmee PD; Resisting with Violence (F) 02/25/2018; Orange County SO; Possession of Cocaine (F) Guilty/Convicted 9/11/2018; Columbus PD (Nebraska); Fugitive From Justice 09/27/2018; Osceola County SO; VOP 11/02/2018; Osceola County SO; Warrant Arrest Other Jurisdiction 11/7/2018; Orange County SO; Failure to Appear in Court (F) 11/7/2018; Orange County SO; Conditional Release Violation 4/16/2019; WHPD; Warrant Arrest Other Jurisdiction (F) 4/18/2019; Orange County SO; Violation of Probation/Parole (F) 5/26/2020; PCSO; Possession of Methamphetamine (F) 5/26/2020; PCSO; Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (M) 11/3/2020; PCSO; Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon (F)
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