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Records Reveal Details On Those Involved In Gainesville Teen Shooting

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Robert Dentmond's yearbook photo from Buchholz High School.
Robert Dentmond’s yearbook photo from Buchholz High School. (File/WUFT News)

Updated: April 8, 2:27 p.m.

The deputies and officers involved in the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Robert Dentmond in March have no history of shooting or killing suspects, records show.

WUFT News obtained the personnel files of the nine Alachua County sheriff’s deputies and Gainesville police officers who fired their weapons at Dentmond, killing him shortly after 10 p.m. on March 20 at Majestic Oaks Apartments just west of Interstate 75 in Gainesville

Dentmond, who was carrying what appeared to be a semi-automatic rifle, did put the weapon on the ground after police arrived but picked it up again and ignored orders to drop it as he walked toward an apartment building, officials said. The rifle turned out to be a replica.

The deputies and officers who fired had completed training in a variety of voluntary certifications, such as basic hostage negotiations and crisis intervention. Several had previous military experience.

Here is what their files show:

  • Sgt. Christopher Sims has been with the sheriff’s office for about 10 years. In that time, he has received certifications and participated in a 40-hour training in basic hostage negotiations. He also completed training for weapons of mass destruction in 2006, as well as a 44-hour firearm instructor course from the Santa Fe College Institute of Public Safety, among other certifications and training.
  • Deputy Kyle Reedy has spent about three years at the sheriff’s office and also has one year of Army experience as an infantryman. He was suspended without pay for one day and eight hours in 2013 for a traffic crash and lost take-home vehicle privileges for one day.
  • Deputy Jason Hulst has worked for the sheriff’s office for about five years. He received crisis-intervention team training in 2014 from the Santa Fe College Institute of Public Safety. Hulst also received a certificate in surveillance operations from the College of Central Florida Criminal Justice Institute in 2015.
  • Deputy Christopher Dasher has worked for the sheriff’s office for about two years. He received a certificate for completing a two-day basic patrol rifle course, in which he ranked No. 1 and was rated as an expert with a score of 100 percent.
  • Deputy Robert Campbell received a certificate for successfully completing a 40-hour course in investigative interviews in 2012. He’s worked for the sheriff’s office for six years and received training in crisis intervention in 2010. He’s also certified in kinesic interviewing and interrogation techniques. (Kinesics is the study of non-verbal communication.) He’s a certified field-training officer, among other certifications.
  • Cpl. Robert Kennedy has worked for the police department for about 13 years after spending nine years in the U.S. Navy. He worked in the criminal investigations bureau from December 2008 to September 2010 and then asked to be transferred back to the operations bureau. He was promoted to corporal in 2011. He’s certified in kinesic interviewing and interrogation techniques and is a certified field-training officer.
  • Officer Brendon McCarthy has worked for the police department for about five years. He spent almost three years in the U.S. Army. He was honorably discharged after receiving multiple recognitions, including an Army commendation medal and an Army achievement medal. He received training in crisis intervention in 2011. He’s a certified field-training officer and has other certifications.
  • Officer Matthew Quinn has worked for the police department for four years and also works in the Emergency Services Unit.
  • Officer Casey Kumar has worked for the police department for two years and also works in the department’s Special Operations. Before that, he worked as a paraprofessional at Alachua County Public Schools.

All of the deputies and officers involved in the shooting have been assigned administrative duties and will not be on patrol until the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation is completed.

The sheriff’s Office of Professional Standards and police department’s Internal Affairs will also conduct investigations into the shooting pending the conclusion of the state’s investigation.

 

Editors note: This story has been updated to correct a previous version that incorrectly referred to officers McCarthy, Quinn and Kumar as deputies. 

About Alexia Fernandez

Alexia is a reporter for WUFT News and can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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