ORLANDO, Fla. – Three officers who fatally shot an unarmed patient who claimed to have a gun at Orlando Regional Medical Center last year have been cleared of wrongdoing, according to documents from the State Attorney’s Office.
Records show Brian Baker, 33, was in the emergency room area on Oct. 1, 2018 when he began saying he had a gun, acting distraught and threatening hospital staff. An Apopka officer who was first on the scene repeatedly told Baker to show his hands, but he kept one hidden under his shirt.
Orlando police officers Paul Evancoe, Elio Florin and Daniel Robertson arrived and positioned themselves behind hostage negotiator Gladys Justiniano. They had their weapons drawn and pointed at Baker, but he could not see their guns due to their positioning.
Officials said Justiniano spoke with Baker for about two hours and during that time, his emotions varied from angry to calm to crying. He refused to show his hand during the negotiations, according to the report.
Baker was agitated when he jumped on a piece of medical equipment, pulled his hand from his shirt and pointed an object toward Justiniano, Florin and Robertson, records show.
Evancoe and Florin each fired one shot and Robertson fired two shots, the report said. All four bullets struck Baker, who died at the scene about 15 minutes after the shooting.
Records didn’t indicate what type of object Baker had in his hand. Orlando police officials said after the shooting that Baker was not armed.
“When Mr. Baker ignored the commands from several officers to show his hands and instead attempted to move forward while pointing an object, it would be reasonable and therefore justifiable for members of your agency to protect their own lives and the lives of the patients and staff located close by,” Chief Assistant State Attorney Deborah Barra wrote in the report.
Baker was the only person injured during the incident.