Deputies shoot, kill man accused of stabbing mother in Winter Haven

Polk County

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Authorities say deputies shot and killed a man accused of stabbing his mother in her chest in unincorporated Winter Haven on Wednesday.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office responded to the home around 6:50 a.m. and 36-year-old Phillip Dibenedetto’s mother was taken to Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center to be treated for serious injuries. Sheriff Grady Judd said the mother is in stable condition.

Deputies said they were searching for Dibenedetto when he came out of nowhere and fired on them. They returned fire, and he was hit and killed.

When asked as to why Dibenedetto would want to stab his mother, Sheriff Judd said he has “documented mental health problems back into the early 2000s” and with information from the sheriff’s office initial investigation, he was not on any medication but “he did self-medicate with marijuana.” However, Judd said he was not sure if Dibenedetto was on marijuana at the time of the incident.

According to the sheriff, Dibenedetto told deputies numerous times, “You all kill me, you all kill me. I’ve been planning this.” He also told deputies he purchased his gun last week to do this, Judd said.

Sheriff Judd said his deputies shot Dibenedetto numerous times.


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