Date: November 23, 2004 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact:

Carrie Rodgers, (863) 534-6217 OR (863) 819-1856 Pager

Michal Shanley, (863) 534-6631 OR (863) 981-2375 Pager

PCSO Continuing Investigation into Homicide

Polk County Sheriff's Office homicide detectives are continuing an investigation into the shooting death of a 25-year-old mother of three in a Lakeland home earlier this morning (Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2004).

PCSO deputies responded to a residence located at 2021 South High Glen Court in South Lakeland shortly after 9:30 a.m. this morning after receiving a 911 call from a reportee who reported that her son had just called her and told her he had shot and killed his estranged wife at the High Glen Court residence. Upon arrival, deputies discovered the body of Jennifer Gans, DOB 2/18/79, inside the residence. Deputies were unable to locate the couple's three young children, and immediately issued a BOLO to law enforcement agencies to be on the look-out for the father and three children. The father, Raymond Gans, DOB 10/14/04, was identified as the suspect in the homicide of his wife, Jennifer. Detectives were concerned for the safety of the couple's children upon learning that the suspect had picked them up from a local Lakeland daycare. An Amber alert also was issued.

Recent Photo

Christmas 2003

Raymond Gans

At around 1:15 p.m. this afternoon, a Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office deputy spotted the suspect in his white 1997 Astro van in the area of Keysville Road in Hillsborough County. The suspect refused to a stop, and a short pursuit ensued, during which the suspect was observed waving his handgun out the window of the vehicle. PCSO deputies responded and joined the pursuit, and two PCSO deputies placed stop sticks in the path of the van and formed a barricade to stop the suspect in the area of 640 and Anderson Road.. The suspect came to a stop as he approached the stop sticks, and deputies immediately heard a gun shot. Believing the suspect was firing at them, the deputies took cover. Upon further inspection, the deputies determined the suspect had shot himself in the head. Deputies were able to safely remove the three young children from the vehicle. The children - Bailee Gans, DOB 8/14/03; Jordyn Gans, DOB 11/7/01; and Meikayala Gans, DOB 12/14/200- were not injured and were placed in the care of Dept. of Children and Families. The critically injured suspect was transported to Lakeland Regional Medical Center where he is currently in critical condition. Detectives have charged Raymond Gans  with 1st Degree murder in the shooting death of his wife.

BACKGROUND: According to PCSO records, the victim, Jennifer Gans had received an injunction for protection against her estranged husband last month. Raymond Gans  also previously had been booked into the Polk County Jail for a Oct. 13 incident in which he threatened Jennifer Gans with a baseball bat and attempted to choke her. He was charged with Aggravated Assualt and Battery (Domestic Violence). In an earlier incident, Raymond Gans was charged with Burglary, Petit Theft, and Criminal Mischief for a1999 incident in which he confronted a woman he had previously been involved with (not Jennifer Gans) and became irate when she told him it was over between them. The victim tried to leave and Gans reached into her vehicle and took an item  from her car and attempted to take away her keys. He then kicked her car causing damage prior to leaving the scene.

Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

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