Winter Park police shoot woman during well-being check

Woman faces criminal charges

A local woman says a Winter Park police officer shot her during a well-being check at her home.

WINTER PARK, Fla. – A Central Florida woman says a well-being check went terribly wrong when a police officer shot her in her bed during the check. The woman believes she was set up by her ex-boyfriend. 

Bobbie Sapp, 49 is a registered nurse and has no criminal past. The incident happened two years ago.

Next month, Sapp goes on trial, charged with three counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer and three counts of aggravated assault of a police officer, because during that well-being check, police said she pulled a gun on them.

Sapp believes her ex-boyfriend used a well-being check as retaliation to get police to her home and she is facing life in prison because of it.

"He used this wellness check as a way to put me in harm’s way," she said.

It happened 8 a.m. on a Sunday in September 2017.  While Sapp was fast asleep in the Winter Park home she rented, her ex-boyfriend was calling Winter Park police. 

"My girlfriend was threatening suicide last night, I just came to the house and trying to get in," Sapp's ex-boyfriend told the 911 operator.

It was a five minute, 34 second call that Sapp said changed her life.

"She is very well armed," Sapp's ex-boyfriend told the 911 operator when asked if Sapp had a gun.

"She's threatened suicide by cop before," he said.

"I was asleep in my bed. I was not at all contemplating a suicide or suicide by cop," Sapp told News 6.

When police arrived, Sapp's ex showed them how to enter the house, according to an interview with officer Jeff Marcum obtained by News 6.

"There’s one way into the house to crawl through a window and I don't want to do that at this point. I want someone here with me," Sapp's ex-boyfriend said during the call.

One officer lifted a kitchen window, leaned in and used a clothing hanger to unlock the back door, according to police.  

Meanwhile, Marcum was still getting information from Sapp's ex. 

"I'm asking if there's any weapons in the house, he tells me there's enough weapons in the house to start a revolution," Marcum said.

Then the three officers made their way into the house, through the living room, and finally to Sapp's bedroom where they see her sleeping.  

"I'm thinking about the call suicide by cop," Marcum says during the interview.

Marcum, a 23-year-veteran with the Winter Park Police Department, describes in an interview with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement what happened next.

"We're yelling at her to, you know, let us see your hands, let us see your hands," Marcum said.

"I didn't have my glasses on, I'm legally blind," Sapp said. "I couldn't identify anybody, but I remember there being shadows figures standing in my room. They pulled the covers off me."

"At that point when she pulled the cover, Ms. Sapp immediately came up with a handgun and pointed it right at us," Marcum told investigators. 

Sapp admits she slept with two guns. She and her ex had been in a fight the night before and she feared it was him coming back to the house, she said.

She says she had taken a sleeping pill the night before but says she did not point a gun at the officers.  

"Then I remember getting tazed, " Sapp said.

Marcum said when Sapp wouldn't comply, one officer tazed her.

"She still pointed the gun at us, then comes back toward me and then goes back toward Lt. Bologna and Officer Eller and I fired a round," he said.

Sapp was shot in the shoulder.

"If I had been pointing my gun, the way they said that I was, why didn't they all shoot me, instead of just one person?" Sapp asked.

Sapp believes the officers responded too aggressively.

"It doesn’t make any sense that they would come in that way unless they were lied to by somebody that was using this well-being check as a tool to put me in harm's way," Sapp said. "To process that has been really, really difficult. It's something that could happen to anyone."

News 6 contacted Winter Park police for a comment, but Chief Michael Deal said it would be inappropriate to comment since the case is set for trial next month.

If convicted, Sapp faces life in prison.

About the Author:

Emmy Award-winning reporter Louis Bolden joined the News 6 team in September of 2001 and hasn't gotten a moment's rest since. Louis has been a General Assignment Reporter for News 6 and Weekend Morning Anchor. He joined the Special Projects/Investigative Unit in 2014.