POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A 36-year old man is dead after stabbing his mother and firing at deputies, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
The idyllic-seeming expansive property, dubbed “Bumgarner Ranch” at the gate, was a crime scene Wednesday.
“We shot him multiple times. We shot him enough that he didn’t shoot back anymore,” said Sheriff Grady Judd.
It started before 7 a.m. Wednesday off Overlook Drive in Winter Haven.
Phillip Dibenedetto, 36, approached his 62-year old mother.
“Asked his mother, ‘do you have any coffee?’ And she said, ‘sure’ and pointed out the coffee. He said ‘turn around’ and she did and when she did, he stabbed her in the chest,” Sheriff Judd said.
The mother managed to flee to a nearby apartment full of nurses caring for her husband, according to the sheriff.
“While she’s running to the nurses to dial 911, she pulls the knife out of her chest,” he said.
She was taken to Lakeland Regional Health. Sheriff Judd said she is stable but suffering from serious injuries.
When deputies arrived at the ranch, Dibenedetto had retreated into an apartment in the horse stables.
“They said no less than 50 times over the last 20 or so minutes while they were trying to negotiate a peaceful surrender that Philip would continue to scream ‘kill me, kill me, kill me,’” said Sheriff Judd.
Deputies tased Dibenedetto, who still managed to shoot at the deputies.
“He got at least one shot off before we were able to stop him. That’s how dangerous this job is every day,” said the sheriff.
Dibenedetto died. The officials involved in the shooting were Deputy Andy Stephens, Deputy Brandon Johnson and Sgt. Paul Buonconti.
Sheriff Judd said Dibenedetto had been suffering from mental health issues for over a decade and initial information showed he was not taking medication at the time of the incident.
Given the national conversation on police brutality, Sheriff Judd wanted to separate what happened in Winter Haven and what happened in Minneapolis.
Sheriff Judd has previously said he would have arrested ex-officer Derek Chauvin the night of George Floyd’s death.
“Their training is not our training. I can assure you of one thing – I teach our deputies and we coach our deputies, the most important thing we can do is preserve life and your life is as important as the guy trying to kill you,” said Sheriff Judd.
Polk County deputies do not wear body cameras.