The 10th Judicial Circuit Officer-Involved Deadly Incident Task Force is investigating a Lakeland Police Department officer involved shooting that occurred in the Kettles Avenue area in Lakeland on May 10th. The dangerous incident involved a Central Florida 13-year-old shooter and two other Lakeland teens, 14 and 19.
According to information and evidence gathered at the scene, along with interviews with witnesses and officers by Polk County Sheriff’s Office detectives, Lakeland Police Officer Jamie Smith responded to the report of a dangerous shooting near Lincoln Avenue in Lakeland.
When he arrived in his marked patrol vehicle, the suspect, 13-year-old Wesley Dalmas of Lakeland, was in the roadway and entering the back passenger side of a white Dodge Avenger. Officer Smith yelled for Dalmas to stop, but Dalmas ignored the command and got into the Dodge.
There were two others in the vehicle: the driver, 19-year-old Jermaine Julian of Lakeland; and front passenger, 14-year-old Leonard Speight, Jr. of Lakeland:
The car sped away from the scene, driving east on Lincoln Avenue and the turning south on Kettles Avenue where all three suspects exited the vehicle while it was still in motion. The unoccupied Dodge ultimately struck a white sedan on Kettles Avenue before coming to a stop. Police provided video of the attempted initial stop.
Dalmas, Julian, and Speight ran into an apartment complex on Kettles Avenue.
Dalmas ran east through the northern part of the apartment complex still holding a firearm. Officer Smith instructed Dalmas to drop it, but he refused and continued to run away. Officer Smith pursued Dalmas around a building. As Officer Smith rounded the corner, Dalmas turned around and fired toward Officer Smith striking him once in the foot.
Dalmas again fled and concealed himself in heavy bushes on the south side of a building in the apartment complex. When Officer Smith passed the bushes where Dalmas had hidden, Dalmas exited the bushes. Officer Smith again ordered Dalmas to drop the firearm, which he again refused to do forcing Officer Smith to shoot Dalmas. Dalmas fell to the ground and was taken into custody.
Dalmas had a 9mm semi-automatic firearm in his possession at the time of his arrest.
Julian and Speight were both taken into custody soon after. Julian told detectives he, Dalmas, and Speight were out looking for a “target of opportunity” when they saw an unknown man walking on the sidewalk. They then exited the Dodge and began shooting at the man. No victim has been identified at this time.
During a search of the Dodge, a 9mm handgun was located under the front passenger seat where Speight was sitting, as well as several spent ammunition casings around the passenger seat.
“Shooting at a law enforcement officer will never be tolerated,” said Sheriff Grady Judd. “This 13-year-old decided to enter the world of adult criminal actions when he shot at Officer Smith, and we will do everything in our power to ensure he is held accountable and charged as an adult. Thankfully, Officer Smith is doing well. Our prayers are with him, his family, and the Lakeland Police Department during his recovery.”
Wesley Dalmas was arrested for: Attempted 1st degree murder; Resisting arrest with violence; Resisting arrest; Discharge of a firearm in public; Improper exhibition of a firearm; and, Violation of probation.
Dalmas was in the hospital and being treated for non-life threatening injuries. Upon release from the hospital, he will be transported to the Juvenile Assessment Center. At the time of his arrest, he was on probation for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, attempted burglary, unlawful possession of a firearm, and improper exhibition of a firearm.
As part of Dalmas’ current probation conditions, he was not to have contact with Speight.
Jermaine Julian was arrested for: Attempted 1st degree murder; Fleeing to elude; Leaving the scene of an accident; No valid driver’s license; Contributing to a minor (2 counts); Tampering with evidence; and, Resisting arrest with violence.
Julian was transported to the Polk County Jail. His previous criminal history includes six felonies and three misdemeanors for theft, carrying a concealed weapon, attempted burglary, trespassing, loitering, failure to appear, and multiple violations of probation.
Leonard Speight, Jr. was arrested for: Attempted 1st degree murder; Resisting arrest with violence; Tampering with evidence; and, Possession of a firearm by a minor under 18-years-old.
After his arrest, he was transported to the Juvenile Assessment Center. At the time of his arrest, he was on probation for attempted burglary. As part of Speight’s current probation conditions, he was not to have contact with Dalmas.
Oh please this is nothing more than another incident where who can you believe WE SURE CAN’T TRUST OR BELIEVE ANYTHING COPS , POLICE SAY THERE NOTHING BUT LIARS MOST COPS GET EXACTLY WHAT THEY DESERVE POLICE ONLY TAKE THESE JOBS SO THEY CAN BE ON THEIR AUTHORITY TRIP BE A THREAT TO EVERYONE ELSE I NEVER feel bad when a reverse comes back on cops especially WHEN THEY LIE CHEAT STEAL these Peaces of crap should pay for there crimes the same way as the rest of the citizens,
Sadly we can’t trust cops when cops get caught they need to get the same punishment instead of them using the overworked stressed complaining whining,they always try to use this as a free pass ,I work with the county courts I’ve seen this to much we’re a cops caught stealing caught in lies,YEARS AGO PHIL DONAHUE SAID IF COPS CAN’T STAND THE HEAT GET OUTA THE KITCHEN AND STOP. WHINING FOR ATTENTION, BRAVO
He’s still an adolescent (minor) , how can he be charged as an adult when he isn’t, that’s like charging someone for murder for a simple assault, it doesn’t make sense
Prayers to Officer Smith for a speedy recovery. Hopefully these career criminals will finally be kept off the streets instead of being released to prey on more victims.
Not sure your comments are appropriate in this situation. The point of this is 2 way under age children have become hardened criminals and apparently have no thought beyond their own immediate gratification which appears to be shooting. They are a threat to the community, you have made some valid points, but, no matter how you look at, these kids are a threat to those around them. This isn’t their first time committing serious crimes and unless they are taken off the streets either they or someone else are going to be killed.
I know someone is going to say that ‘we need stricter gun laws’ while disregarding the fact that a 13 y/o felon had a gun. These are the same idiots that will not or cannot explain how they are going to keep felons from obtaining guns. What makes these boneheads believe felons give a crap about laws is beyond any form of comprehension or logic. Absurdity, ignorance, and irresponsibility are not the answer. Facing the fact that we have a social / moral problem and not a gun problem is the answer. Now, it takes character to face reality, something that is obviously lacking these days.
As for Mr. Burgess, he is just another social embarrassment and maybe a criminal himself.