‘I’m going to die tonight’: Armed suspect shot, killed by Winter Haven police officer
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - Winter Haven police shot and killed Larry Jenkins, 52, Saturday night after they say he pulled a gun on them while responding to a 911 call.
According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the agency investigating the officer-involved shooting, a 21-year-old woman called 911 shortly after 10 p.m. regarding an armed disturbance on Orchid Springs Dr. in Winter Haven.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said the woman called 911 after she and her husband, Joshua Caldwell, went to Jenkins home to pick up her 14-year-old sister. Judd said the woman told deputies that when they arrived, Jenkins and the 14-year-old girl were at the residence alone.
They told deputies that the 14-year-old girl said Jenkins had been making unwanted sexual advances toward her all day and he committed a lewd act in front of her. Caldwell also said the teen told him Jenkins had been drinking all day.
Caldwell told deputies that when Jenkins came out of the back of the residence he had a gun and said, "Take this gun and shoot me." He said Jenkins then put the gun to his head and tried to fire it, but it didn’t go off. According to Caldwell, Jenkins racked the gun and shot a bullet into the ground. That’s when Judd said Caldwell, the 21-year-old, and the 14-year-old fled the scene and called 911.
When Winter Haven police arrived, they knocked on the door but Jenkin’s didn’t answer, according to Judd. The officers went around back and saw Jenkins on the screened-in patio. Officers said Jenkins had his right hand in his pocket with what looked to be a gun and he was smoking a cigarette with his left hand.
The officers said they tried to de-escalate the situation and told Jenkins to show them his hands, but Judd said Jenkins told officers, "I have a gun in my pocket."
Officers said Jenkins then walked toward the officers and stopped when he exited the porch and said, "I’m going to die tonight. You all are going to shoot me."
Judd said the sergeant told an officer to put his firearm up and switch to his taser. The officer tased Jenkins with no results. The officer said he could see Jenkins’ hand coming out of his pocket and he saw the butt of the gun in Larry’s pocket and tased him again. The officer said Jenkins flinched, but it didn’t take him down. That’s when the officer said Jenkins pulled the gun and the sergeant shot his gun at least seven times in about 1-1.2 seconds. Judd said Jenkins immediately fell to the ground and officers began life-saving efforts. EMS took Jenkins to Winter Haven Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Judd says Jenkins has a criminal record and had been to prison in the past. He said Jenkins had been charged with armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. Judd added that legally, Jenkins did not have the right to possess a firearm.
Judd did not release information about why the teen was at Jenkin's house.
When deputies tried to interview the 21-year-old and the teenager, their grandmother said she didn’t want them speaking without a lawyer. Judd says he believes she had their best interest at heart and didn’t understand the system. He added that subpoenas were issued Sunday morning and their mother said she would take them to speak with deputies on Sunday night.
Family at Jenkins’ apartment Sunday night did not want to go on-camera. They tell FOX 13 News that Jenkins is related to the 14-year-old girl.
Sergeant Dentel has been with Winter Haven Police for 9.5-yearss. He is now on paid administrative leave.
No officers were injured in the shooting.
UPDATES: Get news alerts and updates in the free FOX 13 News app