Haines City Police and Polk County Sheriff Report on Officer-Involved Shooting

Haines City Police Chief Greg Goreck and Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd provided an update on an officer-involved shooting that took place Friday evening near Davenport.

According to Yahoo, a Haines City officer spotted a stolen 2014 Nissan Versa. The officer followed the vehicle briefly until backup arrived and then attempted a traffic stop.

“The people driving that vehicle could have ended this by pulling over and doing the right thing. They chose instead to flee,” said Chief Greg Goreck. “My officers realized that this vehicle was a 2,400-pound missile that could endanger lives, so they initiated a pursuit. The pursuit was short, and the suspects committed aggravated battery with a motor vehicle by striking another car near the intersection of Highway 27 and Polk City Road.”

The suspects continued to flee, hitting another vehicle during the pursuit. Officers then performed a PIT maneuver, bringing the chase to an end.

Chief Goreck reported that the passenger reached for a firearm, prompting an officer to fire his service weapon. The driver was identified as 19-year-old Victor Espinoza-Rodriguez, and the passenger, who was shot, was identified as 17-year-old Javier Najera.

“It’s important to understand that the driver was 19 and the passenger was 17. They should be just kids—one just graduated high school, and the other may be preparing to graduate. But that’s not what you have here,” Sheriff Judd said.

Sheriff Judd added that Espinoza-Rodriguez had gang-related tattoos and a significant criminal record, including 11 felony charges, six misdemeanor charges, and three probation violations related to drugs and burglary. told by Fox News

“Our juvenile has no inclination to obey the law. He’s been given breaks by being placed on probation, only to violate it five times. He has charges for drugs and resisting with battery. He is currently undergoing emergency surgery at a local trauma center due to his gunshot wound,” Judd stated.

No law enforcement officers were injured in the incident. The 10th Judicial Circuit Officer-Involved Deadly Incident Task Force is investigating the shooting.