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LAKELAND, FL (October 5, 2016) - On October 5, 2016 at approximately 10:40 p.m., Officer Derek Gulledge observed a vehicle in the area of Ingram Avenue and S. Road 98, that had cut him off in traffic causing him to hit his brakes. Officer Gulledge then ran the tag of the vehicle and it came back listed as a 2015 Nissan Altima, 4-door stolen out of Winter Haven on August 19, 2016.

Officer Gulledge followed the stolen vehicle waiting for additional police units to assist and he did not use his emergency lights at this time as not to alert the driver. At Kathleen Road and 10th Street, officers attempted to block the stolen vehicle in to prevent a pursuit. The driver was able to maneuver his vehicle around the police cars and avoid being blocked in. The suspect accelerated fleeing to the Lakewood Terrace Apartments, 1315 West 14th Street.

The driver entered the main entrance in the middle of the complex and tried to stop the vehicle and it slid into a tree. The suspect then jumped out and fled on foot. Officers observed two additional passengers in the vehicle and they were taken into custody without incident for questioning. The driver was observed by another officer running into the breezeway of an apartment building. Additional officers on the perimeter were confident the suspect was in one of four apartments.  Further investigation by the officers revealed that one of the passengers, Larexia Honors lived in apartment #D-14 on the second floor in the same area that the suspect was believed to be hiding. The other three nearby apartments were checked and cleared by the officers. Honors gave the officers a verbal and written consent to check her apartment for the suspect.

Officers knocked on the door and no one responded. Police K-9 responded to assist and officers unlocked the door at which time two verbal warnings for the suspect to surrender were given. After no response was heard, the K-9 was released into the apartment and officers immediately heard a gunshot. Officers entered the apartment and located the suspect in a bedroom with a single gunshot to his forehead, and the handgun lying underneath him. The handgun is a KEL-Tec, PF-9, and it was loaded with six additional rounds. The suspect was transported to Lakeland Regional Health in grave condition.

Detectives responded to the scene and the two passengers were interviewed. Both passengers said they had been picked up earlier by the suspect in Lakeland. The mother of the suspect was also interviewed and she stated that during this time frame, the suspect called her and stated, “I’m not going back to jail, I’m going to kill myself” and then he hung up.

The suspect has been identified as Dayoshis Carter, 19 years of age, 407 Lee Street, Auburndale, Fl. He has a total of 13 arrest some of which include:

·       Simple Battery

·       Resisting an Officer

·       Theft

·       Disorderly Conduct

·       Possession of Marijuana

·       Trespassing

·       Aggravated Assault with a Weapon

·       Homicide

·       Weapon Offense

·       Fleeing to Elude an Officer

No officers fired shots or were injured during this incident and it’s very unfortunate that Carter decided to shoot himself instead of turning himself in. This investigation is still ongoing and for additional information of the stolen vehicle, please contact the Winter Haven Police Department.


The Lakeland Police Foundation (Foundation) is ecstatic, and remains a little stunned, to have very recently received a donation from a single donor of approximately $1 million. We intend to honor the wishes of the donor to not publicly broadcast identification information and to honor the donor’s direction that the dollars be used to cover all the Foundation costs required to now construct and maintain the “Fallen Heroes Memorial” park. The donor has also directed that the balance of the donated dollars be used by the Foundation for the other specified, non-profit purposes for which it was created; including the funding of eligible students who wish to become police officers and to enter and complete the police academy. 

We owe a very important duty to report this amazing development to all those persons and businesses now considering, or who will yet consider, donating to the Foundation while directing that the funds, labor and/or materials donated be used exclusively for the construction or maintenance of the “Fallen Heroes Memorial” park. This duty also extends to those City of Lakeland employees who, via payroll deduction, are now making donations to the Foundation for the specific purpose of the “Fallen Heroes Memorial” park. The Foundation hastens to underscore, however, that it fully intends to enjoy a perpetual existence to serve not only current members, but past and future members of the extended “family” of the Lakeland Police Department (LPD) through the police memorial park, but also in other manners for which we were created. Providing for the continuity of the Foundation will support and strengthen the services the LPD “family” provides to our community for many, many years to come.

Among the purposes specified by the Foundation in achieving its status as an IRS- designated non-profit, 501(c) 3 organization, “near and dear” to our hearts, is that we want to “be there” for past, present and future members of the LPD “family” in their darkest hours. Those occurrences, when, through no fault of their own, they have suffered the worst losses, injuries and hardships and “need a helping hand” to get them through. And, on the brighter side, to provide grants to those LPD “family” members who have demonstrated both financial need to achieve worthy educational goals and the aptitude to achieve them.

For the reasons stated, the Foundation will continue to solicit donations from caring persons and organizations, and to endeavor to raise funds with the goal of never having to tell a worthy LPD “family” member applying for reasonable assistance from the Foundation that we don’t have the funds. We ask that you please consider us in your future, charitable plans.

Further, the Foundation wishes to publicly acknowledge and express its heartfelt gratitude for all donors who have provided funds for the construction and maintenance of our “Fallen Heroes Memorial” park. And we would be remiss to not also communicate our debt of gratitude for the approximate 1,000 people who have registered for our first inaugural 5K run, thereby providing additional funding to the Foundation for the “Fallen Heroes Memorial” park. Your generosity has “warmed our hearts,” and we will forever be grateful to you. We sincerely hope that you will, in the not-too-distant future, be able to visit the completed “Fallen Heroes Memorial” park and know, in your heart, that you have helped to bring this perpetual and public expression of the honor we bestow on police “fallen heroes” into being.


The Lakeland Police Department will join with departments across the state in the Click It or Ticket Enforcement Campaign. The enforcement runs from May 16th, 2016 thru May 30th, 2016 at midnight. Officers from the Lakeland Police Department will be monitoring our roadways for safety belt usage and issuing citations during this campaign and citations for failure to wear your seat belt. The fine is $114 .00. It only takes two (2) seconds to “click” your seat/safety. Florida State Statute 316.614 specifically addresses seat belt usage and the following information is being provided /disseminated in advance of the event to educate the public on seat/safety belt usage. It is unlawful for any person:  To operate a motor vehicle in this State unless each passenger and the Operator of the vehicle under the age of eighteen (18) years are restrained by a safety belt or by a child restraint device pursuant to Florida State Statute 316.613 , if applicable; or To operate a motor vehicle in this State unless the person is restrained by a safety belt. It is unlawful for any person eighteen (18) years of age or older to be a passenger in the front seat of a motor vehicle unless such person is restrained by a safety belt when the vehicle is in motion.The ”Click it or Ticket” initiative is designed to increase public safety awareness about the us age of seat/safety belt usage and our goal with participating in this campaign is two (2) fold; to gain compliance with State law, and to save lives. 

On April 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Lakeland Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its 11th opportunity in six years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.  Bring your pills for disposal to the Lakeland Police Department at 219 N. Massachusetts Avenue.  (We cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.)  The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. This service is also offered year round at LPD with an easy to use community drug collection receptacle in the front lobby. On April 30th, they will collect it outside so you don’t have to get out of your car.

 Last September, Americans turned in 350 tons (over 702,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,000 sites operated by the DEA and more than 3,800 of its state and local law enforcement partners.  Overall, in its 10 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 5.5 million pounds—more than 2,750 tons—of pills. 

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.  Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the April 30 Take Back Day event, go to the DEA Diversion website .