Man killed in deputy-involved shooting in Polk County

No deputies injured in incident

POLK COUNTY,Fla. – The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a deputy-involved shooting.

The Sheriff’s Office said the shooting happened around 8:30 p.m. in the area of Congress Street in Auburndale.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said a woman called 911 and told dispatchers her son was in a rage.

“She was at her wits’ end. There was nothing else she could do,” Judd said. “She consulted the siblings. They said call 911.”

She said her son, Juan Rosa, told her he would shoot himself if she called police, according to Judd.

Judd said the 35-year-old suffered from mental health issues.

“He had a psychiatrist. He had access to mental health assistance. And still, this was the eventuality because he chose that to occur on his birthday,” Judd said.

When two deputies arrived at the house, investigators said Rosa’s mother led them to his room. The sheriff said Rosa came to the door with a loaded gun in his hands.

Judd said the deputies told Rosa to put the gun down, but he didn't. Judd said he then pointed the weapon at them.

The sheriff said his deputies opened fire and shot Rosa. He was sent to the hospital where he died.

“When we say clearly if you point a gun at our deputies you’re going to be shot, that’s a warning to not point guns. Unfortunately, it also markets the fact if you want to commit suicide and don’t want to do it yourself, point a gun at a deputy,” Judd said.

Investigators said no deputies were injured.

This marks the third deputy-involved shooting in Central Florida this week.

On Christmas Eve a man was shot and killed by Volusia County deputies after investigators said he shot his sister.

On Christmas Day the Marion County Sheriff's Office said a woman pointed a gun at deputies, so they opened fire and killed her.

Judd said these shootings scar law enforcement officers, but his priority is keeping his deputies safe.

“When Juan appears with a gun and he’s decided to die today, we can’t control his conduct. We can only control our response to make sure my deputies go home alive and well,” the sheriff said.

The sheriff’s office identified the deputies involved as 44-year-old Sgt. Heather Mundell, a 21 year PCSO veteran, and 37-year-old Gabriel Reveron, who has been with the department for nine years. Both deputies were placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure.

PCSO and the State Attorney’s Office will investigate the shooting.

About the Author: