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Family of teen fatally shot by deputies outside a Kissimmee Target files lawsuit

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Attorneys for the family of Jayden Baez, 20, who was shot and killed by Osceola County deputies outside a Target in Kissimmee last week, are filing a lawsuit against the sheriff's office after new allegations have emerged.

The initial arrest report shows that Osceola County deputies responded to the store on a shoplifting call around 7 p.m. on April 27.

According to the reporting officer, deputies were alerted to a suspicious vehicle with an obscured license plate.

Deputies reported seeing two people exit the vehicle — described as a black Audi — and enter the store while "wearing masks and a hoodie

One deputy contacted loss prevention at the Target to warn workers about the two individuals and was told that they had already been seen stealing pizza and multiple packs of Pokemon cards, the report said.

After the two individuals got back into the Audi, the vehicle was stopped by deputies, the report said.

"A takedown was attempted, which resulted in an officer-involved shooting," it said. "The two suspects were transported to the hospital and treated for their injuries."

Sheriff Marcos R. Lopez said in a statement that none of the initial deputies on the scene were wearing body cameras, though they were wearing tactical gear, because they had been performing training exercises in a nearby parking lot.

The attorney for Baez's family, Mark Nejame, alleged Wednesday that deputies in unmarked vehicles did not identify themselves as law enforcement and "opened fire as the teens drove off without justification and disregard for public safety."

In addition to Baez being fatally shot, Nejame claims two others inside the car were seriously injured — one being shot six times and in critical condition.

The latter allegation directly contradicts information from Osceola County Fire Rescue public information officer Andrew Sullivan, who told Spectrum News in in email at the time of the shooting that injuries sustained by the other alleged suspects were all minor.

"We treated and transported four adults from the scene: One from gunshot wounds who is now deceased, one for relatively minor bullet shrapnel injuries to the hand, and two for non-life threatening injuries sustained from falling while attempting to flee law enforcement," he wrote in the email.

While the report gave details surrounding the incident, it did not explain when or why weapons were drawn and fired by deputies.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the deadly shooting. Lopez said he would not comment further until after the full facts are known.

Nejame is expected to hold a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

Copyright © 2022, Charter Communications, all rights reserved

Source: Spectrum News 13

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