12/21/2011

Fla. officer dies from gunshot wounds

Officer Arnulfo Crispin, 25, was shot Sunday night

By PoliceOne Staff

LAKELAND, Fla. — A Lakeland police officer critically injured in a Sunday night shooting has died.

During a press conference Tuesday evening Lakeland Police Chief Lisa Womack said that Crispin would not survive his wounds, according to The Ledger. Several members of the Lakeland Police Department stood by, misty-eyed, as the news was handed down.

Officer Arnulfo Crispin, 25, radioed Sunday night that he was near an apartment buildling checking on a complaint of suspicious activity involving three suspects, according to the Palm Beach Post. When backup officers arrived, they found Crispin shot and "unresponsive," police spokeswoman Ann Dinges said.

Crispin was immediately transported to a local hospital for emergency surgery, and a manhunted ensued involving more than 12 law enforcement agencies. Kyle Williams, 19, was arrested.

As his survivors come to grips with the loss, an investigation is making underway. Police cadets, sergeants and detectives with the help of the Lakeland Fire Department searched the area where Crispin fell and recovered a weapon that authorities believe may be Williams'.

Friends, family and members of the community say Crispin was a fun-loving, friendly man who "always had a smile on his face," according to Pedro Flores, 24, who played soccer with the officer.

Crispin's death marks the first line-of-duty fatality for the Lakeland Police Department, who remember him fondly.

"He served the community well," Womack said. "He will be sorely missed from this day forward."

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