NewsPolk County


Polk deputies shoot and kill knife-wielding suspect

Deputies shoot, kill suspect in Lakeland
Posted at 5:36 PM, Mar 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-06 08:40:06-05

LAKELAND, Fla.- The Polk County Sheriff says one of his deputies was forced to shoot and kill a suspect with a knife. The deputy-involved shooting happened in a neighborhood near Presidential Land and Old Government Road.

Sheriff Grady Judd said his deputies spotted a vehicle driving erratically and they tried to pull over the vehicle.

The suspect, later identified as Ryan Smith, ditched the car and deputies and a K-9 chased a suspect towards a swamp and eventually to a backyard where the suspect hid in a shed.

"He had just gone in there briefly probably to hide that's what I gather, but it's just a small 12" by 16," said Carlos Tejara, neighbor.

The suspect tried running again but was surrounded by deputies.

He had a knife and was told to drop it several times.

"The suspect turned with a knife and when he turned with a knife he screamed at the deputy shoot me shoot me," said Sheriff Grady Judd.

Deputies felt threatened and opened fire.

"Here is one more suspect who had an easy opportunity to just to throw the knife down and give up instead he choose to threaten deputies," said Sheriff Judd.

The suspect was transported to Lakeland Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Judd said the suspect has been arrested multiple times in the past and has served time in prison more than once.