BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – A man who initially told Brevard County deputies he was carjacked when he stopped to help people having car trouble, which hours later led to a deputy-involved shooting in Merritt Island, made up the story to avoid making a car payment, according to officials with the Sheriff’s Office.
On March 2, Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said the incident started in the Canaveral Groves area at 7:45 a.m. when Mark Lightsey, 26, said he stopped to help two stranded motorists. One of the two men carjacked the victim at gunpoint taking his black Dodge Charger, according to the sheriff.
Later the same day, deputies tracked that Dodge Charger but the driver continued to elude authorities speeding through several Brevard County towns, helicopter video released by the Sheriff’s Office shows.
Douglas Dixon, 31, was shot by a Brevard County deputy after he bailed out of the car in Merritt Island on State Road 520 and attempted to carjack several other drivers, the sheriff said. Deputies said Dixon was armed.
Sheriff’s Office investigators have since determined the report of a carjacking was not true, according to an arrest report. Deputies said Lightsey later changed his story saying the car could have been stolen while he was sleeping the night prior.
Investigators spoke to employees at Enterprise Rental Service who said they had been attempting to contact Lightsey because he owed the company money, according to the report.
Multiple witnesses told deputies the Dodge was parked at a home in Titusville during the time he said he was being robbed and deputies found the rental car keys in the yard of the same home, according to the report.
Officials with the Sheriff’s Office said they believe Lightsey wanted to stage a carjacking in order to get out of the rental car payment.
“The rental car company was after him. This was his thought how to get a police report to take to the rental car company and hopefully not be charged for what he owed on the vehicle,” spokesperson Tod Goodyear said.
Lightsey was arrested Tuesday and charged with providing false information to law enforcement officers during an investigation.
After being shot multiple times, Dixon was later booked into the Brevard County Jail, officials said. Jail records show he is held without bail on multiple charges, including aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer.
The deputy who shot Dixon, Sgt. Chris Ferrante, was placed on paid administrative leave pending the investigation which is standard procedure after an officer-involved shooting. According to a news release, Ferrante has been a member of the Sheriff’s Office since November 2002.
The shooting was the second Brevard County deputy-involved shooting of the year.
“It’s a shame that it lead to what we saw where a person was shot, our deputy was involved in the shooting, people were put in harm’s way and traffic was disrupted for multiple hours,” Goodyear said.