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Polk SWAT team members fatally shoot armed murder suspect during standoff, deputies say

Suspect accused of lifting gun into firing position

POINCIANA, Fla. – An armed homicide suspect was fatally shot by SWAT team members during an overnight standoff in Poinciana, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said they were called to an area of Finch Lane around 7:30 p.m. Sunday after witnesses reported hearing gunshots and a woman screaming. When deputies arrived, they found 40-year-old Orlando Riviera-Vasquez had been shot to death in the driver’s seat of a gray Nissan Altima.

The victim’s wife, who was suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, was in the car and able to identify Rudy Arenas, 40, as the shooter, according to a news release.

The woman was taken to a nearby hospital, deputies said.

Authorities said they received information that Arenas was in the Wood Lane area of Poinciana at a relative’s home and he still had a stolen gun in his possession.

SWAT team members surrounded the home beginning Sunday evening and made commands for Arenas to surrender but he refused and instead said repeatedly that he would shoot himself or deputies if they approached, records show.

At about 3 a.m. Monday, SWAT team members used gas canisters and beanbag rounds in an attempt to take Arenas into custody but he still wouldn’t come out with his hands up, according to authorities.

Deputies said they saw Arenas holding a gun in his hand in his pocket so they struck him with beanbag rounds, which caused him to drop the gun, but then he picked it up from the floor and began moving it to a firing position, prompting three SWAT members to shoot him.

Arenas died at the scene.

The stolen gun was recovered with a round chambered, records show.

Deputies said both Arenas and Riviera-Vasquez have criminal histories that include drug charges.


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