OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — The attorneys for the young men shot by Osceola County deputies last year are now taking Sheriff Marcos Lopez and those deputies to federal court.
In April 2022, deputies were conducting a training exercise near Target on U.S. 192 in Kissimmee when they were called about a theft at the store. Two teens, Joseph Lowe and Michael Gomez, were caught shoplifting Pokémon cards and pizza. Deputies blocked the teens from leaving and deputies said the driver rammed into them. The lawsuit claims the unmarked sheriff’s truck was the one that initiated the crash. Deputies surrounded the car and started shooting.
“We believe that there’s a widespread cultural problem at the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office,” said Attorney Mark NeJame. “We have one person who’s dead, one who had their hands up and had his finger blown off, and then three bullets shot in each hand and maimed got another shot in the back and another traumatized.”
NeJame told Eyewitness News he believes they used excessive force, violated civil rights of unreasonable seizure, and manipulated documents to cover up what happened.
“(The documents) were all done on the same minute, the same date with the same notary and with many with overlapping stories,” said NeJame. “No, that’s not how you do reports.”
Lopez sent Eyewitness News the following statement:
“This incident occurred on April 27, 2022. Shortly after the incident, it was announced the individuals who damaged several police cars, caused injury to one deputy, and placed several other deputies in fear for their lives, would be suing the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office. This announcement is not unexpected. We look forward to the facts being told in a court of law.”