A Florida sheriff’s deputy fatally shot an unarmed man during a marijuana raid Wednesday morning in Deltona, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office. Derek Cruice, 26, was shot in the face and later died at a local hospital, police said. He was one of six people inside the house that was a target of the raid.
Here’s what you need to know about Cruice:
1. Police Claim He Advanced on the Deputy
Deputies entered Cruice’s house at about 6:30 a.m. Wednesday. Police said Cruice “advanced” on the deputy, and the deputy fired one shot, hitting Cruice in the face.
“Cruice’s actions caused the deputy to perceive a threat,” the sheriff’s department said in a statement. “It has since been determined that Cruice wasn’t armed.”
No weapons were found in the home, the sheriff’s office said. There were no arrests made Wednesday.
Cruice was taken to Florida Fish Memorial Hospital in Orange City as a trauma alert, but later died. There were five other adults in the home at the time of the shooting, three men and two women, police said. They were not injured.
None of the officers were injured.
2. His Friends Are Calling the Shooting ‘Murder’
Cruice’s friends told local reporters that he was not a threat to the officer and was not armed, calling the shooting “murder.” One friend, Steve Cochran, told WFTV that Cruice was, like him, wearing only basketball shorts at the time of the raid:
It’s kind of hard to conceal anything or hide anything when this is all you have on. They entered the house and fired.
3. He Was Shot By Deputy Todd Raible
Raible has been placed on administrative leave, as is customary in officer-involved shootings and the incident will be investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the sheriff’s office said.
Raible, 36, is a 10-year veteran of the sheriff’s department. Sheriff Ben Johnson said Raible was “shaken” by the shooting, according to WKMG-TV.
According to the sheriff’s press release, Raible is not a regular member of the SWAT team, but was there in his capacity as a narcotics investigator.
4. He Was the Target of the Raid
Police told WFTV that Cruice was the target of the narcotics investigation that led to the raid.
Cruice was arrested in 2009 on possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia charges, according to arrest records.
The narcotics investigation is continuing. The deputies found marijuana, paraphernalia, a scale, a drug ledger, plastic bags and $3,000 in cash, police said. No other drugs were found.
5. He Was a Dagorhir Foam Fighter
Cruice played in Dagorhir battle games, according to posts on his Facebook page. Dagorhir is a roleplaying game that involves foam weapons, combining history and fantasy, according to the game’s website.
“He really liked video games. He was into that nerdy stuff. He was a really nice guy. He really was,” Thomas Figueroa, a friend and coworker of Cruice told WKMG.
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