Former serviceman Brandon Ian Culver has been arrested in the shooting death of a police officer in Lakeland, Florida.
Around 1:00 am, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd told The Washington Post, Culver and another man, Oscar Hernandez, pulled up to a Waffle House. Culver got out of his car and started shooting. He fired at least 23 rounds, striking Lakeland Police Sgt. Marc DiSario in the head, gut and arm. Culver reportedly tried to get into another police car, but couldn’t get through the glass windows. When the officers pulled into the Waffle House, Culver escaped into a nearby neighborhood.
Hernandez was held at gunpoint until the SWAT team arrived and took him into custody.
“He’s not emotionally stable. He’s a rabid animal,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd told The Washington Post.
Culver served in the Marines from 2001 until 2010. In 2010, he served a nine-month prison sentence for domestic battery. When he was released in 2011, Culver was given an order of protection, preventing him from going within 100 yards of his ex-girlfriend’s house.
“Since he’s been out, the domestic violence problem has been out of control,” said Casey Williams, a neighbor of Culver’s. “He had said he was going to end it all — the family. It was scary to know he’s a killer walking around this street.”
Neighbors saw Culver running after DiSario’s car, terrified that he was going to kill Culver’s ex-girlfriend.
“My heart dropped for him,” said Shelia Jackson, who owns a house on the same street where Culver lived. “I hope he goes to jail for a long time, but hopefully he doesn’t get out when he has time to think about it.”
DiSario was pronounced dead at the hospital. There are at least two other wounded people in the Waffle House parking lot. The Washington Post also reports that there were three other officers in the Waffle House, and two civilians. A police statement says two patrol officers were also grazed by gunfire but are not seriously injured.
According to The Washington Post, there are many contradictions in the man’s history of domestic violence. Culver was arrested in 2015 for assaulting his former wife and allegedly took guns from his parents’ house after they threw him out. Culver claimed to be mentally ill during his arraignment.
Police posted a clip of Culver fleeing on Facebook, with the caption, “We still need help finding Brandon Culver. He shot and killed Lakeland Police Sgt. Marc DiSario and wounded two other officers. Please help us identify this man before he strikes again.”
Read the full story at The Washington Post.
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