Fla. Deputy Shoots Man After Taser Malfunctions

Suspect threatened Cop and Mother with knife and screwdriver

Story by WFTV.com

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -- A Central Florida mother is distraught after Orange County deputies shot her son after one of the deputies' taser gun malfunctioned.

The shooting happened at a home in Orange County. The deputy who pulled the trigger early Tuesday morning is now on leave.

Crime scene investigators were in the house Tuesday, trying to find out exactly what did happen. Tuesday morning, we spoke with the man's mother and she gave us her first hand account.

"He wanted 20 dollars; I didn't have 20 dollars," explains Carmen Sanchez.

And with that, 30-year-old Mark Sanchez pulled a knife on his own mother. She says he's addicted to crack cocaine and needed money for drugs. A neighbor gave him the 20 dollars to leave his mother alone and then called for help.

Sanchez returned to the home and went to his room. But soon, Orange County deputies were knocking on his door to ask him a few questions. Quickly, he grabbed a screwdriver and went to confront them.

"He had been holding it to his own throat, stating that he was not going back to jail," explains Sgt. John Allen.

That sent up a red flag to the deputies, who knew he was not going to be reasoned with. He then took the screwdriver away from his own neck and lunged at Deputy Susan Soto.

Sgt. Dennis Vest pulled his taser, but it malfunctioned and Deputy Soto shot Sanchez twice.

"If you could stop and put yourself in her place for a minute, would you shoot once and see if it worked and run the risk of being stabbed?" questions Sgt. Allen.

Sanchez' mother says a doctor told her he has a 50-50 chance of surviving the shots. Now all she can hear are the words of her 30-year-old son bleeding on the kitchen floor.

"He called me mommy! Mommy! He is not mature and on top of that he was using drugs," says the victim's mother.

The family argues that the man should have been stunned instead of shot. The sheriff's office will now complete an investigation and send its findings to the State Attorney's Office, which will then determine if the deputy acted lawfully.

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