Polk deputy fatally shoots man who charged at him with knife, sheriff says

Suspect had been involved in domestic violence incident

Crime scene tape. (Generic)
Crime scene tape. (Generic) (Pexels)

POLK COUNTY, Fla. – A Polk County deputy responding to a domestic violence incident fatally shot a man who charged at him with a knife in his hand, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said someone called 911 around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday to report that Gilberto Martinez-Nava had choked his ex-wife during an argument and was becoming increasingly hostile and irritational, which included him arming himself with a knife.

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As Deputy Gregory Streeter was arriving, he received information from dispatch that Martinez-Nava was pacing in and out of the house and was believed to be a danger to himself and others, records show.

An elderly woman opened the door when Streeter arrived at about 10:35 p.m. and Martinez-Nava, who was about 15 feet behind her, began charging at Streeter when he saw the deputy, according to a news release.

The deputy yelled, “Drop the knife, drop the knife,” but Martinez-Nava kept running toward the deputy until Streeter shot him four times, causing Martinez-Nava to fall to the ground with the weapon still in his hand, records show.

Martinez-Nava was taken to an area hospital to be treated for three gunshot wounds to his torso and one to his arm but died about an hour later.

“The deputy didn’t choose to shoot Mr. Martinez-Nava…Mr. Martinez-Nava chose to make the deputy shoot him. Our deputy arrived to keep the family safe, which is ultimately what happened…just not the way we wanted,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a news release.

Streeter, 27, has been placed on administrative leave with pay, which is standard procedure. He was not injured.

Several investigations will take place into the circumstances surrounding the deputy-involved shooting.

About the Author:

Adrienne joined News 6's digital team in October 2016 to cover breaking news, crime and community interest stories. She graduated from the University of Central Florida and began her journalism career at the Orlando Sentinel.