An armed suspect was fatally shot last night during a struggle with a Polk County Sheriff's Office deputy responding to a reported burglary in progress.
At approximately 6:09 p.m. last night (Sunday, Feb. 18, 2001), a 911 call was received at the Polk County Sheriff's Office Telecommunications Dispatch Center reference a burglary in progress at a residence located at 2410 1/2 2nd Street NE in the Florence Villa area of Winter Haven. The call was made by the resident who had discovered a burglar in his home.
Deputy Dustin Kendrick responded to the residence and was met by the two residents: Jeantil Rosius Jr., 20, and Jeantil Rosius Sr., 66. A neighbor, Honore Hopkins, 25, of 2013 2nd Street NE in Florence Villa, also was at the scene. The residents told the deputy a suspect was in the back bedroom of their mobile home.
Deputy Kendrick entered the mobile home through the back door, which was next to the bedroom in which the suspect -- Dervil Oribris, 31, of no known address -- had barricaded himself inside. The deputy attempted to talk the suspect out of the bedroom, but the suspect refused and struggled to keep the door closed against the deputy.
Neighbor Hopkins assisted the deputy in knocking down the door. The suspect then charged at the deputy as he attempted to enter the bedroom. The deputy scuffled with the suspect, knocking him to the floor in an attempt to bring him under control. During this struggle, the deputy noticed the suspect was armed with a .32 revolver. The deputy knocked the gun away from the suspect and the pair continued to struggle on their knees. The deputy, who was behind the suspect trying to handcuff him, was able to get one hand handcuffed when the suspect broke free and grabbed the gun. After grabbing hold of the gun, the suspect reached over his shoulder to point the gun - which was cocked - back in the direction of the deputy (who was still behind him). In response, the deputy fired one shot at the suspect. The suspect continued his attempt to point the gun at the deputy and the deputy fired a second shot, at which point the suspect collapsed. An autopsy showed the suspect had been shot twice, once in the neck area and once in the back area. Deputy Kendrick received scratches and bruises during the incident.
In keeping with standard Sheriff's Office procedure in all deputy-involved shootings, Deputy Kendrick was placed on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the investigation. He has been a PCSO Deputy since January of 1995.
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