Winter Haven police officer shoots, kills gunman, deputies say

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – A Winter Haven police officer shot and killed a man Saturday night while responding to a domestic disturbance call, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

MPs said Larry Jenkins, 52, of Winter Haven, was shot dead by a Winter Haven police officer after Jenkins refused to let go of a gun in his pocket.

MPs said Winter Haven police were called to an apartment complex on Orchid Springs Drive and knocked on the front door, but no one answered.

Sgt. Joshua Dentel walked to the back of the residence and, according to MPs, found Jenkins on a screened porch with his right hand in his pocket. MPs said Dentel gave Jenkins verbal orders to show him his hands, which Jenkins ignored.

Police told MPs that Jenkins said he had a gun in his pocket.

Authorities said two other Winter Haven officials came to the back of the residence to assist Jenkins.


When the other officers arrived, Jenkins stepped out of the screened porch and told police officers that he “was going to die tonight,” and that the officers “should shoot me,” according to PCSO.

Dentel urged officers to use a less lethal weapon, which PCSO says resulted in Officer Doyle using his taser on Jenkins twice.

Authorities said Doyle saw Jenkins start pulling his hand out of his pocket and Doyle saw the butt of a black gun.

Dentel saw the gun too when Jenkins pulled it out of his pocket, and Dentel shot Jenkins and hit him several times, according to the PCSO.

Jenkins later died in Winter Haven Hospital, according to PCSO.

PCSO interviewed witnesses reporting the domestic disorder call and they said that Jenkins had been drinking all day and allegedly molested a 14-year-old boy.

Two of the 14-year-old’s relatives came to the apartment to get her and then Jenkins pulled out a semi-automatic pistol and threatened her and fired the pistol, according to the relative who called 911.


The shooting is being investigated by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the Winter Haven Police Department, who are conducting their own internal investigations.

The prosecution is also conducting an independent investigation into the incident.

The affected officer is in the initial stages of the investigation, according to the Winter Haven Police Department protocol, on paid administrative leave.

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