Apr 082016

shooting commendation

The City Commission last Tuesday night issued a grateful commendation to the professional men and women who responded to the recent shooting on Duval Street.

Key West Police officers, detectives and dispatchers, the Key West Fire and Rescue, a Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputy and a civilian on the street were all named for their roles in the quick response to the incident.

On March 21, 2016, three innocent bystanders were shot and wounded in the early morning hours on lower Duval Street, an event which could have been more tragic if not for these people. The Mayor and Commission noted in the commendation that lives were likely saved, and the suspect was apprehended without loss of life.

According to the commendation: “The officers of Sgt. Frank Duponty’s Alpha Night Shift: Officers Daniel Blanco, Thaddeus Calvert, Alex Gaufillet, Jessie Hammers, Brian Leahy, Chris Rhinhart, Curtis Richardson and Alex Rodriguez were dispatched to the 200 block of Duval Street with a report that three individuals had been shot and that the shooter was at large. Sgt. Duponty had immediately called out Key West Police Officers Frank Betz, Kristopher Bouvier, Jesse Young and Dennis Ryan who were off duty working details to respond to the scene. Monroe County Sherriff’s Deputy David Lariz, hearing the radio report also responded to the scene. Off duty Officers Tommy Anglin, Matt Hansell, Tiffany Mitchell and Jeremy Tellier were asked to handle any road calls that may be required in the city allowing the Alpha Team to handle the incident. The City of Key West Firefighters/EMT Team including Rescue 1, 2, 3 and Engine 6 were dispatched to the scene and paramedics John Torres, Michael Kielman, Keith Hernandez, Todd Means, Benny Gomez, Frank Abru, Captain Robert Malone, Driver Tim Anson and Firefighters Jose Picardo and Arlen Fernandez as well as Commander Mark Sellers and paramedic Andy Harris. These EMTs provided advanced life support care for wounds incurred by three victims; two were severe enough to require airlifting to Miami for treatment with a third victim transported to the Lower Keys Medical Center for treatment. The armed suspect did not comply with officer Hammer’s verbal direction to surrender his weapon and attempted to flee but was stopped by Officers Hammers, Richardson, Leahy, Betz and Lariz and after being tased, the suspect was safely taken into custody seven minutes after the original dispatch was made to Alpha Night Shift. The dispatch team of Michael Beattie, Shannon Corn and Chelsea Jaremko kept all informed as to what was happening. The detective team with Lt. Alfredo Vasquez, Marcus Devalle, Stephen Mitchell, Tiff Peters and Darnell Sealey arrived at the scene and began their investigation, gathering evidence and taking statements of witnesses. In recognition of the dedicated and faithful service to the citizens and visitors to the City of Key West this Commendation is presented to The Key West Police Department, Key West Fire and Rescue, Monroe County Sheriff’s Department and Mr. David Lee Smith.”

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 April 8, 2016  Posted by at 8:14 am Issue #161, Public Notice  Add comments

  5 Responses to “Responders Commended by Mayor and City Commission”

  1. They deserve praise for this case. They took a huge risk but ended as best as it could.
    Lee should be proud of the way it was handled. Had it ended like Eimers I would not blame them one bit. Armed and drunk and shooting at people deserves death.

    • They may have taken a risk, and should have been commended, but hearing that Officer Calvert was involved with a shooting caused me to investigate further. Reason being- he has IGNORED three court orders to take his SERVICE WEAPON OUT of MY name. He was ordered to transfer registration in May 2009 and was given 30 days to do it. He stated he had to use that specific gun, out of the plethora of firearms that he owns, because he qualified specifically on that weapon. Problem being, it was a gift to him and was purchased in my name during one of those times you know that seemed to have but would rather forget, called marriage. I did not, nor do I want, the firearm. I just had first-hand knowledge of his temper and, in my opinion, lack of judgment which is documented in the number of excessive force complaints against him. Had he followed the court order, there would not be an issue again. Yet, he is above the law, and a year later I found for contempt because this was still not handled – I guess he can’t read the Court order stating 30 days even though he is an officer of the court technically, and was found in contempt but they withheld adjudication and was again ordered to remove the gun out of my name. Fast forward to another year, still above the law and not complying with the two other court orders requiring him to take his firearm that he uses on duty out of my name, I file another contempt of court. Result – another yes, he is in contempt, but we will withhold adjudication because you can’t be in contempt of court and be a cop basically (obviously those are my words, but he was ordered to take the gun out of my name for a third time – and mind you, still carrying this firearm as his service weapon which I’m sure he has pulled on civilians (probably rightfully so, that’s not my problem with this situation, the problem is the firearm is in my name). Fast forward to the Eimers case, which brought out a lot of other information regarding the number of complaints for excessive force, racial profiling, Etc. which brought the firearm issue back to me as a potential problem. Well this poor man died a horrible death, I couldn’t help but wonder if the fire arm registered to me ever held him at gunpoint. I had years prior made a good decision to move with my children out of Key West so they didn’t have to deal with the drama that was created to make me look bad going through our divorce. Drama that he later stated was again attempted to be tried against his new girlfriend/ baby mama (sorry folks, hate that word but due to the fact that he was married to someone else and so was she, I really have no better word to use – I’m just glad I’m far away). Thankfully for his new girlfriend/baby mama, his spouse was not able to garner the sympathy and have the horrible lies that were said about me and for some reason believed, did not suffer the same fate and was able to not have to deal with the same craziness that I did. Thankfully, people realized that it was obvious that it was the person trying to “pull me” I’m being threatened and act that was the one who instigating, and while that was horrible to have to live through and have people (obviously the ones that didn’t know me or they would not have believed a word of it) but it did make for a wonderful headlines at that time – all derogatory about me essentially put out by the police department because it involved two their own. Well, now that four of their own are involved ( including each other’s spouses – boy, we live in a sad world where vows don’t mean anything, but either does morals and values). Sorry, got off topic there due to the fact that I just wanted to point out that I know the temperament of Officer Calvert ( and if anyone knows, please let me know if the polygraph taken during the hiring process for the KWPD is public record or not – I mean, I know the results, but I think others would be shocked and I don’t obviously want to say anything but I am curious as to if they public record due to the position held ). Again, after Eimers even know I moved my family far away, it brought back the figure of that firearm being in my name. Just as a sidenote, I did not only use the legal system to try to right this wrong, I appealed on more occasions than I can count, to Officer Calvert’s sense of right and wrong due to the fact that I was hoping that his hostility and stubbornness with this issue had faded, since he had already remarried, had a new future ex-wife and that person and was awaiting the birth of a child ( now children with his girlfriend ) and thought that he may just do the right thing because he had more troublesome issues to deal, such as his divorce and such. I assumed that his finding ways to punish me would be over since he had no reason to have any contact with me and is not a part of my life. So, I tried to appeal to his sense of reason via numerous emails begging for him to do the right thing as to not clog up the courts time with this again, as after being Eimers case began, I started looking into my own liability due to the fact that that service weapon is registered in my name. Of course, each plea to transfer the gun out of my name was sent via email and the chief of police and internal affairs were CC’d. The more I learn, even though I have a court documentation stating he has possession of the gun And I live several states away, the continued answer I received was that if he were to use this gun, justified or not, I would have my life disrupted and be questioned and such. Obviously, while I have this proof, I would not want my life interrupted for something that is 100% avoidable by simply following the law ; the same law he pledged to uphold. After speaking with attorneys at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, who were shot by one, the fact that he was allowed to get qualified on a firearm that was not registered to him, and two that be chief and IA were aware of the situation and let it continue for years now. As a matter of fact, one of FDLE’s attorneys stated all I needed to do would be to let his chief know and show any one of the three court papers stating he was ordered to take the gun out of my name ( which, I have course attached copies of the court orders to the emails begging for him just to take the gun out of my name so that we both can get on with our lives and not have to deal with or even ever think of each other again. They, meaning FDLE attorneys, stated that I was not overreacting as I just want to put him and that part of my life behind me and wanted to ensure that I just wasn’t overreacting regarding something that didn’t matter. They assured me I was not overreacting and that it was important for me to follow up and suggested that I contact the Bureau of alcohol, tobacco, and firearms (ATF). While all of this may seem excessive, each person I talk to assured me that I was doing the right thing as all I wanted ( and still do ) is for him to do the right thing – follow the law in court orders and take this pistol out of my name. Trying not to get him any type of serious trouble, which many people think I am crazy for after all he is done to cause misery and trouble for me, I did not give ATF his information, but rather asked what was required and how to go about the situation. Obviously, I had to state that he was a police officer and use this weapon as his service weapon, but I did not give any hints or any identifying information that could get him in legal peril- again I just want this gun out of my name. They confirmed the same as everyone else to this point, to not let this go because at any point in my life, this could come back to “Haunt” me and again I would have to deal with all the paperwork and things and disruption in my life when I would rather not think of that period that I was married to him and just want to move on where there are no ties and nothing such as this that can come back to interrupt my life. The ATF explain the process and it was extremely simple. They gave me a form number and that is all he needed to do was to fill out that form. I emailed him with this information, again CCing. The chief and IA, thinking that since now the Office of General Counsel at FDLE and the ATF, both stated that this needed to be corrected immediately and should never have been allowed to occur in the first place. Well, it’s been months and after speaking with the Department Of Justice, with whom every individual I spoke with in DC at the DOJ was speechless that this was allowed to get this far. They have given me steps that I can take that will ensure this situation is handled, however, it would certainly put his job as well as others who knew of the situation, at risk and possibly harsher consequences. Again, I have no interest in Officer Calvert losing his job, even though I believe he is leaving to move across the country (which I explained to him I would like this taken care of yesterday, or of course, as soon as possible, because if something were to happen across the country, they obviously would not know of the ridiculousness that occurred during and after our divorce and again, I just want this all signed, sealed and wrapped with a pretty bow. If what I have to do put his and other jobs in jeopardy or reprimanded, I guess that is what I will have to do – I mean I have been trying to get this taken care of since 2008. If anyone has any suggestions that would not get these people in trouble, please let me know. I believe that he is or recently did divorce his second wife and I want nothing more for him than to be able to move on with his girlfriend and young children. It certainly is not their fault (meaning the children) and watching my own children go through messiness with him during our divorce was horrible and I would not want any child to have to deal with any type of turmoil. While this is not divorce, I certainly would not want legal trouble as I’m sure that would affect them as well. so please, if anyone knows of any other way, to protect myself while minimizing collateral damage, please reply and let me know. I need this to happen so I can go on with my life and not worrying if he’s going to use that firearm in some instances, again, justified or not, but I just need it over with to have that peace of mind. Thank you for your time and any suggestions.

  2. OK I understand some are scared to say anything negative about KWPD but this is one of the times that they did a great job. Why am I alone in saying they did a great job. Yes I often find fault with them but it is important to let Chief Lee know when his team handled something better than could be expected.

  3. I’m sure it was a very intense situation. I would also like to commend the bystanders for not getting hurt.

  4. This is the type of situations that put cops in serious danger of being killed. If that had been us as bystanders as soon as we seen the gun or heard it fired we would of got the hell out of the area as fast as we could. That not only would protect us but by thinning the crowd out would help the officers to take control of the situation. What they should have done was shoot to kill. This type of idiot needs to stay behind bars. I would hope that if I was so drunk that I was harming my wife that other men would try to stop it. I have no respect for any man that hits or beats a female. That is how I was raised. Men and boys never hit a female no matter what they did.

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