Man shot after trying to rob undercover Fla. deputy
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel
PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — A man was shot in the leg after he and another man tried to rob an undercover deputy at gunpoint in an apartment complex Friday night, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said.
Alexander Germaine Horne, 18, was taken to Delray Medical Center for treatment and later released into detectives’ custody. The undercover deputy, whose name was not released, was not harmed.
The deputy was conducting an investigation in the Cinnamon Terrace apartment complex west of West Palm Beach when Horne and Daniel Alezie, 23, came toward him, one of them holding a handgun, said Sgt. Pete Palenzuela, Sheriff’s Office spokesman. The men tried to rob the deputy at gunpoint as he stood in front of the clubhouse, but he confronted them.
The deputy chased the men through the complex toward an apartment on 5955 Ceylon Court. As they tried to get inside the building a confrontation took place and one of the men turned a gun on the deputy, the Sheriff’s Office said.
“The deputy was in fear for his life so he fired to protect himself,” Palenzuela said.
Several shots were fired, but investigators are unsure whether the men fired on the deputy or how many shots the deputy fired, he said.
“We heard four gunshots,” said Lisa Lamoureux, who lives on Purdy Lane across the street from the apartment complex. “Police were here five minutes later. It was scary.”
Lamoureux said they heard seven gunshots the night before around the same time.
Yellow caution tape blocked off several blocks of Purdy Lane around the apartment complex Friday night as people huddled outside their homes to see what was going on.
“It sounded like a whole bunch of firecrackers going off,” said Christine Paul, who has lived in the Cinnamon Terrace apartments for three years with her family.
“Tonight I’m not going to sleep,” said her son Andrew Paul, 15. “I’m going to be thinking about this all night.”
Residents were startled by the shots, but were not surprised by what happened.
“There are always groups of guys hanging around here,” Paul said. “There is all sorts of drug activity going in this complex.”
Holly Sutherlin, who has lived in the apartments for seven years, agreed as she watched the commotion. “It’s the kind of moving-out-in-a-week neighborhood.”
Investigators think both men live in the area and at least one of them in the apartment complex, Palenzuela said. Both were arrested and charged with attempted robbery and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Horne has three outstanding warrants for failure to appear in court, Palenzuela said.
The undercover deputy will be put on paid administrative leave while the case is being investigated, standard procedure for an officer-involved shooting, Palenzuela said. Internal investigations personnel were also at the scene Friday.
“They picked the wrong victim tonight,” Palenzuela said. “They were probably thinking that they had just run into some innocent citizen who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Copyright 2007 South Florida Sun-Sentinel
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