Lakeland police officer shot, 1 suspect in custody | News
Lakeland, Florida -- A Lakeland police officer suffered life-threatening injuries after being shot while on patrol. A 19-year-old suspect has turned himself in to authorities.
Lakeland PD says Officer Arnulfo Crispin, 25, was checking on three suspicious men near an apartment complex shortly after 10 p.m. Sunday.
Backup officers were also dispatched to the scene, and when they arrived seven minutes later, they found Crispin, an 18-month veteran of the department, unresponsive with a gunshot wound. Crispin was taken to Lakeland Regional Medical Center where he underwent emergency surgery.
His condition was last listed as very critical to grave.
"the squad that he's working with are very, very angry and very emotional that this occured," said Lakeland Police Chief Lisa Womack.
She told 10 News Crispin's family is with him at the hospital. A steady stream of police squad cars from across the Tampa Bay area have been seen coming through Lakeland Regional Medical Center throughout the morning.
Chief Womack would not say where or how many times Crispin was shot.
"We really will provide more specific information when we have it," she said.
After being named a suspect Monday morning, 19-year-old Kyle Williams turned himself after contacting police through his mother. Police say his mother was working with them at the police station to convince him to turn himself in when they got the call around 8:30 that he would walk out of the apartments at Crystal Court.
He was taken into custody without incident. He faces charges of attempted first degree murder of a law enforcement officer.
But his stepfather says he doesn't believe the 19 year old pulled the trigger.
Reginald Mitchell told 10 News Williams is being pressured, possibly by gang members, to take the blame.
He wants the other two witnesses who were there at the time of the shooting to be investigated as well.
"everyone needs to come out and say what happened. Who did what, and tell the truth about," Mitchell said.
Police, though, say they have their only suspect and don't plan to make any more arrests.
Williams is being held at the Polk County jail without bond.
Chief Womack says Crispin comes from a very large, loving family. He has multiple brothers and sisters who are also at their brother's side.
"They are absolutely devastated," said Chief Womack who also described Officer Crispin's fellow officers as traumatized by what's happened.
She called Officer Crispin an outstanding police officer who represents the department well.