INDIAN RIVER COUNTY – The investigation into a deputy-involved shooting in Gifford over the weekend continues today as members of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement conducts interviews with witnesses, suspects, officers and others.
“We’re still in the early stages” of the investigation,” FDLE spokeswoman Susie Murphy said Monday morning. Though she could not provide more information other that what has already been released, Murphy said she hoped to have more later this afternoon.
In general, “it’s very common” for local law enforcement agencies to call on FDLE to investigate officer-involved shootings, Murphy said.
“We’re like an independent eye,” she said, explaining that their investigators can come in, look at the evidence and remain impartial.
Along with conducting interviews, Murphy said the investigators will also be collecting and analyzing evidence from the shooting.
FDLE will not be making the determination into whether the shooting in Gifford that sent a suspect to Lawnwood Regional Medical and Trauma Center was justified.
Instead, according to Murphy, FDLE will compile the information into a report and send it to the State Attorney’s Office, which will make that determination.
The shooting in question occurred around 1 a.m. Sunday at the 7200 block of 49th Street in Gifford.
According to the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office, the shooting occurred during a pursuit of a confirmed stolen vehicle.
Sheriff Director Jeff Luther said that the four suspects in the stolen vehicle shot at a deputy, who returned fire, striking one of the suspects.
Assistant Fire Chief Brian Burkeen said that the shot suspect is 17 years old. The suspect’s condition is not known.
Three of the suspects fled from the vehicle, Luther said, and a search ensued.
Murphy said they have since been arrested and transported to jail. They have not been identified.
This article will be updated as more information is made available. Initially reported at 9:46 a.m. Sunday.