A Florida Department of Law Enforcement report on the March shooting of a Gainesville teen is almost complete, with the next steps being a convening of a grand jury and internal investigations by the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and Gainesville Police Department.
The report of the shooting of Robert Dentmond still needs to be reviewed by the state attorney’s office, and investigators met with State Attorney William Cervone, Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell and Gainesville Police Chief Tony Jones, according to a joint press release from the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and the Gainesville Police Department.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is often tasked with investigating police-involved shootings around the state. But a department spokeswoman said Thursday it’s unusual for a local law enforcement agency to make an announcement about an investigation that a state attorney’s office has not yet reviewed.
FDLE’s investigation is not considered complete, spokesperson Gretl Plessinger said.
“Once we’ve completed what we consider our investigation, we provide that to the state attorney’s office,” Plessinger said. “There are times the state attorney’s office comes back and asks us to do additional work. Sometimes they say, ‘Hey, have you checked with so and so or interviewed so and so?’ Our case remains active until the state attorney’s office has reviewed it.”
That hasn’t happened yet, Plessinger said.
Sheriff Sadie Darnell did not respond to a message left on her cell phone Thursday after her office made the announcement.
The press release includes Facebook messages Dentmond sent to his girlfriend, in which he wrote, “I’m finna have the police shoot me.” It also includes the timeline of events throughout the evening beginning at 8:52 when he initiated a conversation with his girlfriend via Facebook instant messaging and concluding with him being pronounced dead at 11:29 p.m. at UF Health Shands Hospital.
Sixteen-year-old Dentmond was shot on March 20 after a standoff with police and sheriff’s deputies in Southwest Gainesville’s Majestic Oaks Apartments complex. Dentmond was carrying a replica assault rifle thought to be real by officers and deputies who responded.
Dentmond walked toward an occupied apartment building. After being told to stop, officers and deputies opened fire on Dentmond. WUFT News obtained the personnel files of the nine Alachua County sheriff’s deputies and Gainesville police officers who fired their weapons at Dentmond.
The findings of the investigation will be presented to a grand jury. The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office’s Office of Professional Standards and Gainesville Police Department of Internal Affairs will conduct an administrative investigation as well, according to the press release.