Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said there are conflicting reports about what happened during a deputy-involved shooting early Monday morning.
A suspect was shot by an Orange County deputy while deputies were investigating a stolen vehicle.
Deputies got a call about a stolen vehicle from the RaceTrac convenience store on Kirkman Road just after midnight. Deputies on patrol spotted the car at the Timber Sound Apartments, located at 4963 Raleigh St.
Orange County Sheriff’s Office investigators said two suspects got in the car and started driving away. Deputies used a tactical parking move to stop the white Honda Accord from leaving the apartment complex.
The suspects have been identified as Cedric Bartee, 28, and Henry Lee Chaney, 28.
The Sheriff’s Office said the deputies asked the suspects several times to get out of the vehicle. Chaney complied to the deputy’s requests, but investigators said Bartee ignored the requests and made a move that caused the deputy to fear for his life. The deputy fired at the suspect.
Bartee was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where he is listed in critical condition.
The deputy involved in the shooting has been identified as Sgt. Robert McCarthy, a seven-year veteran of the agency. McCarthy has been reassigned to administrative duties for a period of not less than one week, per Orange County Sheriff’s Office standard policy.
At a news conference Monday afternoon, Demings said there are conflicting statements about whether the driver had his hands up or if he was reaching for something when he was shot by McCarthy.
“In the spirit of transparency and based on eyewitness testimony, I will be clear here that there are conflicting statements about the driver’s actions that can only be determined by the completion of the investigation,” Demings said Monday. “That is why the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is conducting an independent investigation.”
Earnest Miles Jr. said the shooting happened right outside of his window. Despite it being late at night, Miles said he believes both suspects followed the deputy’s instructions.
“Both of them had their hands up, yeah,” Miles said. “If you look out my window, you could see straight in the car. … I was scared for my kids because the way the police and the car was facing — any of them bullets could have went anywhere.”
Both Bartee and Chaney have previous criminal records.
Courtesy of Click Orlando