110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
Passenger in car says driver 'hit the gas' after officer fired gun
By Pat Andrews
posted Oct 29, 2013 - 3:47:39pm
DeLand police have arrested one suspect in the RaceTrac case, the man police said tried to run over an officer. The officer shot two individuals, who remain in the hospital.
Police charged Sean Sylvester Grant II, 27, of DeLand, with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without the intent to kill, a felony.
A second, still unidentified man who was in the car has not been charged at this point, DeLand police spokesman Sgt. Chris Estes said.
According to a police report, Grant refused to stop when the DeLand police officer told him to, and "hit the gas" after the officer started shooting at the vehicle coming toward him.
The incident occurred during the evening rush hour on Oct. 21.
According to DeLand police reports, a clerk at the RaceTrac gas station at 2080 S. Woodland Blvd. directed the attention of officers Joshua Santos and Julian Rioz, who were patrolling in the area, to a vehicle the clerk said was occupied by a man who had just shoplifted — beer and a couple of other items, police said — from the store.
As Santos approached the vehicle to investigate, the car accelerated backward, crashing into a car occupied by a father and a child, police said; then, the suspect's car accelerated and drove directly at Officer Santos, who fired his weapon.
That was at 4:16 p.m. At 4:17 p.m., a 911 call came in from DeLand Kia about a male with gunshot wounds being thrown out of the suspect vehicle, a green, four-door Honda Accord, Detective Chris Jusick reported.
The suspect left at the Kia dealership, a white male, said he had been shot, and had asked the driver to stop, the police report states. The man had injuries to his upper left chest.
A Kia employee said he saw a black male drive into the lot, and that the vehicle reversed out onto Woodland Boulevard with the rear door on the driver's side open.
The man left at DeLand Kia was taken to Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, where he was later interviewed by Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigators.
This individual said two police officers came out of the RaceTrac and said to "stop." The man said he was sitting behind his "cousin," and tapped him on the shoulder and said, "Hey, look, there's cops — stop."
But, this individual continued, "He puts it in first gear and tried to get out of there as fast as he can, and that is when the cop took out his gun and started shooting through the front window," the report quotes him as saying.
In response, the driver hit the gas even harder, this individual told police.
Jusick added, "It should be noted that the vehicle was recovered with bullet impacts to the front hood and front windshield. The damage all appeared to be from front to back orientation, indicating the officer firing the projectiles was indeed in front of the vehicle."
At 4:37 p.m. Oct. 21, dispatch was alerted that a black male identified as Grant arrived at Florida Hospital Fish Memorial in Orange City with gunshot wounds. A security camera showed him driving into the hospital's parking lot in a green Honda, on which investigators subsequently found bullet impacts.
Grant, who had injuries to his right arm and face, refused to talk to investigators without his lawyer present.
Officer Rioz looked at a photo lineup and identified Grant as the driver of the suspect vehicle.
Both Grant and the passenger in the Honda remained hospitalized at last report. Officer Santos remains on paid administrative leave.
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