Cocoa police officer shoots man after being called to home

Police say Officer Xzevies Baez shot Keith Seal on Forrest Avenue

By Daniel Dahm - Digital Manager

COCOA, Fla. - A Cocoa police officer shot a 54-year-old man early Tuesday after responding to a call about suspicious activity, authorities said.

The shooting was reported around 4:30 a.m. in the 600 block of Forrest Avenue.

Cocoa police said dispatchers received a call from Keith Seal, who reported that his female friends had possibly been kidnapped in Rockledge. Officer Xzevies Baez was dispatched to Seal's Forrest Avenue apartment, police said. 

A short time later, Baez reported he had fired shots and wounded Seal on his elbow. Seal was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, police said. Baez was not injured.

Police said Baez shot Seal from inside his patrol car. Bullet holes were seen in the police car's windshield.                     

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating, and Baez, who has been with the Cocoa Police Department since May 2017, has been placed on paid administrative leave, which is protocol following a police-involved shooting.

The FDLE will investigate the circumstances that led to the shooting. 

“We will make sure there is a fair and thorough investigation into this incident,” Cocoa Police Chief Mike Cantaloupe said. “There is a significant impact to the officer when he or she is put in a situation in which there is a use of force. We want to make sure the officer has the emotional and psychological support needed to get through the process. We are also making sure all the necessary questions are fairly involved in this incident."

Police said the FDLE will review Baez's body camera video and the 911 call Seal made. Authorities did not release the video Monday but did release the 911 audio.

"It's going to sound weird, ma'am," Seal is heard telling the operator. "I was talking to a couple ladies that I know. They were on their way to my house. The one girl said, 'We got problems. I think it's my ex-husband.'"

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