Date: February 12, 2004 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact: Michal Shanley, 863 534-6631 or 819-0397 pager
PCSO Juvenile Boot Camp to Mark Ten-Year Anniversary Today

The Polk County Sheriff's Office is conducting an investigation into a shooting that occurred last night, February 11, 2004, around 6:30 p.m. at 3793 Shetland Drive, Lake Pierce Ranchettes, Lake Wales. A dozen undercover narcotics detectives from the Bureau of Special Investigations went to that residence to serve a search warrant for the presence of illegal narcotics, and an arrest warrant for Trafficking in Methamphetamine, on Elizabeth Powell  Gatlin, DOB 8/10/60. The above residence is Gatlin's home.

When the detectives got into position outside the trailer, they announced their presence and purpose, but were denied entry into the home. The detectives gained entry into the home, while continuing to announce, "Sheriff's Office, search warrant."

Several individuals were immediately confronted in the living room area and secured by detectives. As detectives continued to advance toward the rear of the mobile home they were confronted by 2 females running from a nearby room. At the same time, two shots were fired from that room in the direction of detectives executing the search warrant. Undercover narcotics detective Paul Dunn, a 6 and a half year veteran of the agency, continued to advance toward the area of the gunfire when he came face to face with Gatlin, who raised her 9 mm handgun toward him. Detective Dunn fired one time from his agency-issued sidearm, striking her in the chest.

Detectives immediately called for EMS, and rendered first aid to Gatlin until it arrived. She was airlifted to LRMC, underwent surgery, and is currently in critical but stable condition. Gatlin has an extensive criminal history in Polk County. She has been in the Polk County Jail 10 times since 1996, on numerous charges such as Battery; Resisting Without; Possession of Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Cannabis, Controlled Substances, and Drug Paraphernalia;  Retail Theft; Forgery; and DWLSR. She now faces the original Trafficking charge, Attempted First Degree Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer, and Possession of a Weapon in the Commission of a Felony. Arrested after the incident was Autumn Powell, DOB 9/15/88, for Conspiracy to Traffic in Methamphetamine and Possession of Cannabis. She was taken to the JAC without incident.

Taken from the home during the search warrant was Marijuana (approx. street value $4000), Methamphetamine (approx. street value $1000), several different types of controlled substances, and some cash. Further charges against Gatlin are pending investigation.

Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

Star News Releases
News Room
Polk County Sheriff’s Office Home Page