FDLE turns over investigation of Salaythis Melvin shooting to prosecutors

State Attorney’s Office will determine if Orange County deputy will face charges for fatal shooting

‘What happened to a taser?‘ Salaythis Melvin’s family demands answers in his shooting
‘What happened to a taser?‘ Salaythis Melvin’s family demands answers in his shooting

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – State law enforcement officials have completed their investigation into the fatal deputy-involved shooting of a 22-year-old man outside the Florida Mall in August.

Salaythis Melvin was shot and killed by an Orange County Sheriff’s Office deputy on Aug. 7 while running away, according to deputies and body camera video of the incident.

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The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has been conducting an independent investigation of the shooting, which is standard procedure when a law enforcement officer uses deadly force.

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A spokesperson for the FDLE said the agency delivered its investigation to the Orange-Osceola State Attorney’s Office on Thursday.

“Our case remains active and this is part of our normal process for officer involved shooting cases,” FDLE public information officer Gretl Plessinger wrote in an email.

State prosecutors will now review the FDLE findings and determine if there is any cause to charge the officer who killed Melvin.

According to the sheriff’s office, Agent James Montiel opened fire on Melvin shortly after plain-clothed deputies tried to approach a group of four people outside Dick’s Sporting Goods because one of the men had an active warrant for his arrest and was also a person of interest in a triple shooting that occurred in Pine Hills in July.

That warrant was not for Melvin and deputies did not know who he was at the time of the incident, body camera video shows.

When deputies approached, the 22-year-old ran away and toward Montiel, according to the deputy’s account, who got out of his unmarked vehicle, and said he saw Melvin holding a stolen Glock handgun. Deputies did not know the weapon was stolen until after the shooting, according to the attorneys for Melvin’s family.

GRAPHIC VIDEO: Sheriff's Office body camera video 3 of  Salaythis Melvin shooting
GRAPHIC VIDEO: Sheriff's Office body camera video 3 of Salaythis Melvin shooting

Melvin died of a single gunshot wound to the back, according to the Sheriff’s Office. He was running away from the deputy when he was shot, the video shows.

While the Orange County Sheriff’s Office has released hours of body camera video, the most critical viewpoint of that of the deputy who fired his weapon was not available because his body camera was not on, according to the sheriff’s office.

Melvin’s death spurred calls for the deputy to be fired and policy changes at the sheriff’s office. The fatal shooting also prompted protests coming soon after the death of George Floyd, a Black man killed by Minneapolis police in May.


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