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.”