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LPD PIO
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On June 17, 2014 at approximately 10:35 p.m., the Lakeland Police Department responded to a call of a Japorche Cartisha Pace,16 yrs old, being shot. The shooting took place in the intersection of Second Street and Neville Avenue. Pace stated that she was talking with her friends in the intersection when a white Dodge Avenger drove by traveling east on Second Street. Pace continued talking with her friends as the vehicle drove by and then she heard five or six gunshots. Pace stated she immediately felt pain emitting from her right leg and she ran to a nearby family members residence and notified the police department.

During this same time frame, the Lakeland Police Department received two additional calls of gunshot victims that had just arrived at the Lakeland Regional Medical Center (LRMC).  A police officer working an off-duty detail at LRMC was able to get a description of the suspect’s vehicle from a witness who drove one of the victims to LRMC. That description is different from what the victims observed and this was broadcast over the police radio. The description was that of a gray or silver in color, four door Mitsubishi Gallant with dark tinted windows occupied by four to five black males.

While en route to the hospital, a police sergeant observed a vehicle matching this description and he attempted to stop the vehicle which fled. The vehicle was able to elude the sergeant after he turned his headlights out.

Dayrontay Shaw, 19 yrs of age, stated he was also at the intersection of Second Street and Neville Avenue and saw a white Dodge Avenger stopped at the stop sign. Shaw then heard five or six gun shots a realized he had been shot in the left leg. Shaw ran to a nearby friend’s house and that friend transported him to LRMC.

Samuel Allen, 21 yrs of age, was at the same intersection when he heard the gun shots and was hit in the left leg and right buttock. Allen did not observe any vehicle and he ran to a nearby neighbor’s house that transported him to LRMC. Allen has been discharged from LRMC.

Detectives were called out to investigate the shooting and at this time, it’s possible that there may have been two vehicles involved. At approximately 11:30 p.m., a white Dodge Avenger was stopped on 5th Street and Martin Luther King Blvd with four occupants. The occupants were questioned and released pending further investigation.  No other details are being released in reference to this vehicle.

This investigation is still ongoing and there are no other details to release at this time. The condition of Pace and Shaw is unknown at this time.

 


On June 16, 2014 at approximately 12:24 a.m., the Lakeland Police Department responded to 3904 Cheverly Drive East in reference to a domestic disturbance in progress. The husband, Shad R. Benson, 48 yrs old, had got into a verbal altercation with his wife, Kimberly Benson and had pinned her down on the bed. Kimberly Benson was able to get up and she locked herself into the bathroom. Shad Benson repeatedly kicked on the door and hit it with a hatchet while threatening to shoot through it stating he would kill the the both of them.

Kimberly Benson was able to escape the residence by climbing out the bathroom window. Another witness in the house observed Shad Benson with a rifle in the living room prior to them leaving the residence. During the incident, Shad Benson, opened the front door and screamed at the police threatening to kill them.

After approximately 5 hours of negotiating with Shad Benson, he exited the residence without incident and was taken into custody.

He was charged with:
1. Aggravated Assault
2. False Imprisonment
3. Resisting Arrest Without
4. Simple Battery/Domestic Violence


UPDATE On Officer Invovoled Shooting

 

The suspect in the shooting today has been identified as:

Tommie A. Lanier

DOB 7/3/47 (66 yrs old)

911 Quincy Street, Lakeland, Fla

 

The suspect was the approximate age and matched the description of the subject that was given out early as being wanted on a misdemeanor warrant and he walking in the same area. When the officers stopped the subject, he backed up and produced a firearm from under his shirt and fired two shots at Officer Mills. Officer Mills was approximately 12 to 15 feet from the subject. Although Officer Mills was struck by at least one bullet in the right arm, he was able to return fire utilizing his duty weapon, as did Sergeant Gary. Officer Mills has been treated and released form the Lakeland Regional Medical Center.

At the time of the incident, Lanier had 4 handguns on his person. Lanier was shot 3 times. It is unknown at this time as to why Lanier fired upon Officer Mills and Sergeant Gary.

 Lanier is listed in critical condition and a warrant is being issued charging him with; Attempted Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer.

The investigation is still ongoing at this time. No photograph is available for Tommie Lanier. 

On June 10, 2014 at approximately 10:23 a.m. Officer Ace Williams received information that a wanted person was in the area of 100 West Parker Street. This information was received from a family member who had just driven by the park. Officer Williams confirmed through a teletype that the subject in question was wanted out of Polk County on a misdemeanor warrant for Violation of Probation – Resisting Arrest Without Violence.

 

At approximately 10:26 a.m., Officer Doug Mills and Sgt. Jeff Gary arrived in the area looking for the wanted person. They observed a subject matching the description who was walking away from North Lake Wire Park and toward Florence Avenue.  At 10:27 a.m., the subject stopped in the front yard at 800 North Florence Avenue, reached under his shirt, produced a firearm and fired at Officer Mills. Officer Mills and Sergeant Gary returned fire hitting the subject several times. During the exchange of gunfire, Officer Mills was hit in the right forearm and the bullet exited his elbow. The suspect had a total of 4 firearms concealed on his person.

At this time it is undetermined how many times the suspect was shot or his identity. It is unknown if the subject shot is the same as the wanted person they were looking for. Officer Mills and the suspect where transported to the Lakeland Regional Medical Center. Officer Mills has been treated and released at this time. Detectives and the State Attorney’s Officer are currently investigating the shooting.  Per department policy, Officer Mills and Sgt. Gary will be placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.

Officer Douglas Mills, 36 yrs of age, was hired 12/1/08 and his annual salary is $46,628.00. Officer Mills will not be speaking to the press and is resting at home.

Sgt. Jeff Gary, 54 yrs of age, was hired 6/22/92 and his annual salary is $78,296.00

The investigation is ongoing and an updated press release will be sent out when the suspect is positively identified