KISSIMMEE, Fla. (WFLA) — Lawyers for the family of a man who was shot and killed by authorities claim deputies did not identify themselves when they opened fire on several suspected thieves outside of a Target in Kissimmee, according to reports.
Osceola County deputies were called to the store last Wednesday after reports of a suspicious vehicle, according to WESH 2 News. When they arrived, employees said two masked men entered the store and stole a pizza and multiple packs of Pokemon cards.
Authorities said they saw the suspects enter a suspicious vehicle. That’s when “a takedown was attempted which resulted in an officer-involved shooting,” the WESH report added. Attorneys claimed the deputies fired gunshots at the suspicious vehicle “without regard for the safety of the occupants or civilians in the area.”
Attorneys also claimed deputies did not identify themselves and were traveling in unmarked vehicles.
Jayden Baez, 20, was killed in the shooting.
In a statement reported by WESH, the attorney called the incident an “apparent unwarranted, illegal, and unjustified shooting.”
“One of those critically injured was Joseph Lowe, who was shot six times despite both of his hands being raised, clearly indicating either surrender or a plea for the deputies to stop shooting, and that there was nothing in his hands,” WESH quoted the attorneys as saying. “Nevertheless, he was shot three times in each of his raised hands, causing massive damage to both hands, including having one of his fingers blown off.”
Attorneys said a multi-million-dollar suit against the Osceola County Sheriff’s Department is in the works.