Polk County teen arrested for attempting to murder a law enforcement officer, deputies say

Posted at 9:26 AM, Aug 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-15 10:07:09-04

An 18-year-old from Polk County was arrested Monday for attempting to murder a law enforcement officer, deputies say.

Investigators say that 18-year-old Tyrese Cooper, of Winter Haven, was a passenger in a car when he fired multiple rounds at an unmarked Orange County deputy patrol car. It happened around 2:30 a.m. on Monday last week when the deputy was following what he thought was a suspicious car in a Pine Hills neighborhood.

According to officials with the Orange County Sheriff's Department, the deputy was able to exit his vehicle and take cover, he was not injured. 

The suspects drove off and were pursued by marked deputy cruisers. The four men abandoned the car but deputies were able to detain two suspects on scene and a third suspect shortly after. Cooper managed to initially escape deputies custody.

Even though it was an unmarked car, Orange County Deputies told ABC Action News that the men knew that law enforcement was inside. Deputies say that Cooper knowingly fired anyway. 

"Anyone who shoots at a law enforcement officer is a dangerous person. And our goal is to get him locked up in jail where he belongs just as quickly as we can,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd before Cooper was apprehended.

Shortly after, Sheriff Judd and Polk County deputies did just that. 

The arrest affidavit states that Cooper was found hiding in an apartment in Winter Haven. When deputies went to the apartment, Cooper's brother answered the door. When deputies asked his brother if Cooper was inside the apartment, he replied, "yes".

Deputies announced their presence and called for Cooper to exit the apartment. Moments later Cooper appeared with his hands up and was taken into custody without incident.



"Make no mistake about it - when you shoot at one of us, you shoot at all of us. And, if you come to Polk County, we will find you," Sheriff Judd added after Cooper was arrested.

Cooper was transported to the Polk County Jail and is facing charges of Attempted First-Degree Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer. His first court appearance is set for 1 p.m. on Tuesday.

The three other men in the vehicle were Matthew Jerome, 18, Richie Pierre, 20, and Leonardo Gourdet, Jr., 20.  

Jerome and Pierre are facing charges of Burglary and Resisting Arrest Without Violence, deputies say. Gourdet is facing multiple charges including accessory after Attempted First-Degree Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer.