LAKELAND, Fla. — The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has taken over the officer involved shooting investigation in Winter Park.
The shooting happened Saturday, Feb. 19th. at the Winter Park Event Center. Police responded to the center after an employee called to report one of the guests, Daniel Knight. He’s the uncle of the bride, Janisha Paul.
The 911 caller said Knight was drunk and attacking other guests.
His family held a press conference Tuesday afternoon, at their Lakeland home. They said Knight was not attacking other guests, and the police didn’t need to be called.
Officers said Knight attacked two officers, knocking one unconscious, when they arrived on the scene. They said they used a taser, but it didn’t stop him. At some point, according to the report, an officer fired several shots at Knight. His sister Trina Knight was standing right there.
“I watched them unload their gun on my brother’s chest,” she said, with tears running down her face.
Despite attempts to save him, Knight died in front of his mother, father, sisters and his niece Janisha Paul. She said her wedding was perfect until the police showed up.
“We were having a good time. We were laughing and drinking,” she said. “That’s what a wedding is supposed to be about.”
Janisha said she was standing two feet away.
“His blood was all over my wedding dress.”
Despite police reports, the family said Knight was not out of control, and the police should have never been called.
“He was dancing and having a good time,” said Trina.
The woman who called 911 told police Danny attacked several people, including his mother Patricia Keeby.
“My son did nothing to me. My son just put his arms around my top to help me sit down because my feet were hurting,” she said. “ He was such a loving man, and he didn’t do nothing to me.”
The family is working with Pastor Carl Soto, who is the co-founder and Vice President of Black Lives Matter Restoration Polk Inc.
“We find the actions of the Winter Park Police Department unjustifiable,” Soto said. “We are demanding criminal charges on each and every officer from that night.”
The officers were wearing body cameras. At first, the department said the cameras were not working that night. Now it appears body camera footage has been turned over to the FDLE.
“We find that highly suspicious,” said Soto.
Danny leaves behind a fiancé and four daughters.
The family and Soto are asking the DOJ and the FBI to take over the investigation.