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FDLE turns over investigation into Brevard deputy-involved shooting of 2 teens to prosecutors

Brevard County deputy fatally shot AJ Crooms, 16, and Sincere Pierce, 18

AJ Crooms, 16, left, and Sincere Pierce, 18, right. (WKMG 2020)

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – State investigators have turned over their findings to prosecutors regarding the deputy-involved shooting that resulted in the death of two teens shot in a Cocoa neighborhood in November.

In the days after the Nov. 13 shooting, Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said two deputies were attempting to conduct a traffic stop of what they believed to be a stolen car. After Angelo “AJ” Crooms, 16, attempted to continue to drive, Deputy Jafet Santiago-Miranda opened fire, in fear he was going to be struck by the vehicle, according to the sheriff. The other deputy on scene did not fire their weapon.

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Crooms and Sincere Pierce, 18, were both killed in the shooting. A third occupant inside the vehicle survived.

The shooting was handed over to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate which is standard procedure when an officer of the law is involved in a shooting. On Feb. 5, the FDLE turned over its investigative findings to the Brevard County State Attorneys Office. State prosecutors will review the case and determine if there is reasonable cause for charges.

[RELATED: Sheriff: Brevard deputy ‘forced to fire,’ fatally shooting 2 teens in car]

The 18th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office confirmed they are in receipt of the FDLE investigative findings regard the use of deadly force by Santiago-Miranda.

“The role of the State Attorney in conducting our review is to determine whether a criminal violation of Florida law has occurred, whether any person may be held criminally responsible, and whether such criminal responsibility can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law,” the SAO statement read. “Our commitment to justice is the fundamental and guiding principal in every such decision.”

In a statement the state attorney said there is no timeline on when the review will be complete.

“Our office will conduct an exhaustive inquiry into the information provided by the FDLE, as well as pursue any investigative leads or information uncovered during that process,” the statement read.

Dash camera video released by the sheriff showed the two deputies attempting to stop the vehicle and yelling “stop” seven or more times before the shooting.

Family of both teens have hired notable civil rights attorney Ben Crump to represent them.

Both deputies are on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.


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