DAVENPORT, Fla. (WFLA) — The Polk County Sheriff’s Office released surveillance video Monday of an incident where a suspect shot one of its deputies while investigating a domestic disturbance.
Last Wednesday, deputies Nicole Lyons and Harodis “Tony” Nunez were called to the Tanglewood Preserve neighborhood in Davenport at around 10 p.m.
According to the sheriff’s office, suspect Gabriel Batista, 41, of Orlando had gotten into an argument over a telephone before warning one of the residents at the Davenport home that if they called law enforcement, it would not end well.
Batista then allegedly showed up at the victims’ home and began banging on doors and windows. The sheriff’s office said the suspect then called the resident and said the cops would have to kill him at the home.
By the time the two deputies got there, Batista had left, but he came back shortly after, leaving his car with hands behind his back. The surveillance video showed Batista continue hiding his hands as deputies approached him, ordering him to show his hands.
“When somebody does not comply and their hands are behind them, we automatically have to guess that they’ve got some kind of weapon, that they want to hurt us,” said Sheriff Judd.
Eventually, Lyons began wielding her stun device, and Nunez armed himself with his gun. Meanwhile, Batista is still not showing his hands while moving backward around the vehicle.
The sheriff’s office said Lyons eventually deployed the stun device to get the suspect to comply with their orders.
At this point, as seen in the video. the suspect pulled out a 9mm pistol and started shooting at them.
The sheriff’s office said Batista fired six shots, one of which hit Nunez in his chest. However, the deputy’s bulletproof vest protected him from the bullet.
Undeterred, Nunez fired back at the suspect but missed. However, Batista quickly threw his gun away and surrendered to deputies, with both officers putting him in handcuffs.
Judd said he was impressed by Nunez’s ability to stay in the fight.
“I mean he’s Superman,” Judd said Monday. “He stayed in the fight, cleared his firearm, and was still able to participate in taking the guy into custody.
Nunez was taken to a hospital for the injuries he sustained from the bullet’s impact but was released Friday morning.
Judd called Deputy Nunez a superman.
“He stayed in the fight, recovered, cleared his firearm and was still able to participate in taking the guy into custody,” he said.
“He is sore, but recuperating,” Judd said in a release sent out Friday. “Domestic violence calls are among the most dangerous our deputies respond to.
According to Judd, Batista told detectives he was planning a suicide-by-cop after learning law enforcement had responded to the disturbance.
“Gabriel asked for us to kill him, and we would have fulfilled his request if Deputy Nunez’s gun didn’t jam,” he said. “We will be holding Gabriel accountable for his depraved violence against our deputies.”
Batista was charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder of LEO, two counts of written threat to kill, resisting with violence, and discharging a firearm on residential property.
The shooting is still under investigation by PCSO Administrative Investigations Unit, the State Attorney’s Office, and the 10th Judicial Circuit Officer Involved Deadly Incident Task Force.
This would be the second deputy-involved shooting the sheriff’s office has dealt with in October so far.
The first ended in the death of Deputy Blane Lane, who was hit by a round from deputies who were firing at a suspect they believed was armed with a handgun. Judd said he believed that incident was also intended to be a suicide by cop.