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PINELLAS COUNTY SHERIFF' S OFFICE c.::J~'~ ~~~ t'
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DATE: January 11 , 2019 ~

TO:

FROM:
Sheriff Bob Gualtieri

Chief Deputy Dan Simovich ()Av~~


SUBJECT: DEADLY FORCE REVIEW BOARD
CASE NO: so 18-356389
DA TE OF INCIDENT: November 8, 2018
SUBJECT: Christopher Kearney, DOB: 4/20/1986
DEPUTIES INVOLVED: Sgt. David Webb, Jr. (#57421)
Dep. Chelsea Gross (#59639)
INVESTIGATIVE DETECTIVE: Det. Jerald Creaser (#55744),
Robbery/Homicide Unit

The Deadly Force Review Board convened on January 11 , 2019 at 10:00 hrs. and concluded at
10:39 hrs.

Board Members Present: Chief Deputy Dan Simovich


Assistant Chief Deputy Sean Jowell
Assistant Chief Deputy George Steffen
Major Stefanie Campbell, Support Services Bureau
Major Paul Halle, Patrol Operations Bureau
Major Lawrence Nalven, Investigative Operations Bureau
Lieutenant Jennifer Love for Captain Raymond Whiteley,
Professional Standards Bureau
Shannon Lockheart, General Counsel

Also Present: Captain Kurt Romanosky, Criminal Investigations Division


Lieutenant Gregory Danzig, Training Division
Lieutenant Dennis Garvey, Crimes Against Persons
Sergeant Jonathan Tobeck, Robbery/Homicide Unit
Detective Jerald Creaser, Robbery/Homicide Unit
Detective James Upton, Robbery/Homicide Unit
Board Recommendation:

Based on the facts presented, Deputy Gross was justified in the use of deadly force and is
not in violation of General Order 13-3, Use of Deadly Force. The Deadly Force Review Board
unanimously agrees on this recommendation.

Based on the facts presented, Sergeant Webb ' s use of deadly force was not permitted per
Pinellas County Sheriffs Office policy and violates General Order 3-1(5.4), Rules and
Regulations. The Deadly Force Review Board unanimously agrees on this recommendation and
refers Sergeant Webb to Administrative Investigative Division for review.

Synopsis:

On November 8, 2018, at approximately 13:44 hours, a complaint was received from Vixen
Salon in reference to an Armed Robbery at 2676 Bayshore Boulevard in Dunedin, Florida. At the
same time, members of the Alternative Sentencing Unit were tracking and attempting to locate an
absconder, identified as Christopher Kearney w/m 04/20/1986. When the description of the
suspect of the Armed Robbery matched that of the Christopher Kearney, Deputy Williams advised
that the suspect in the Armed Robbery matched that of Christopher Kearney. ASU began to track
the vehicle being utilized by Christopher Kearney, which was reported as stolen. The car was
tracked via OPS leaving the general area of the occurred location of the Armed Robbery.

The vehicle stopped at the Thornton' s Gas & Convenience Store located at 32490 US
Highway North in Palm Harbor, Florida. The suspect was observed on Thornton's video pulling
up to pump #8. He was the sole occupant of the vehicle. Christopher Kearney entered the store,
purchased a drink and payed the clerk in cash. He exited the store and returned to the car where he
began to pump gas. At this time, several PCSO cruisers entered the parking lot and surrounded the
stolen car. Christopher Kearney jumped into the vehicle through the passenger door and climbed
over to the driver' s seat. Several orders were issued for Christopher Kearney to exit the vehicle.
Deputy Savetz attempted to break the driver' s window with his expandable baton. Christopher
Kearney started the car and drove through a small opening between Deputy Calderone' s cruiser
and a civilian vehicle that began to exit pump #7.

As the suspect vehicle exited pump #8, Deputy Gross arrived on-scene and parked her
vehicle perpendicular to pump #6 which was to the north. As she was exiting her vehicle, Sergeant
Webb was running up to the driver' s side of the suspect vehicle. Deputy Gross moved to the rear
of her car as the suspect vehicle began to drive north along the passenger side of her cruiser.
Sergeant Webb discharged his firearm while along the side of the suspect vehicle, aiming
downward. Deputy Gross reached the rear of her vehicle as she heard two gunshots and believed
the suspect was shooting at the Deputies. As the suspect vehicle passed by Deputy Gross ' position,
she discharged her firearm twice, striking the A-pillar on the passenger side and the interior
dashboard area. The suspect vehicle continued to flee as he exited the Thornton' s parking lot and
traveled westbound in the eastbound lanes.

Deputies Young and Leontidis located the suspect vehicle in the area of Tampa Road and
Belcher Road. The suspect vehicle was still traveling westbound in the eastbound lane. The vehicle

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then turned southbound on Belcher Road where a pursuit ensued. A PIT maneuver was attempted
at Curlew Road and Belcher Road but was unsuccessful. The suspect vehicle then began to travel
southbound in the northbound lanes of Belcher Road. The vehicle then turned eastbound on
Ranchette Lane. A PIT maneuver was attempted again with success. Christopher Kearney fled
from the vehicle and was apprehended shortly after that. Christopher Kearney was positively
identified as the suspect in the Armed Robbery at Vixens. He also matched the description of two
earlier Robberies at Thornton' s in Clearwater, Florida and one at a 7-11 located in Largo, Florida.

Deputy Gross was interviewed where she advised that the information she knew was the
suspect was in a stolen vehicle and was considered armed. When she heard the gunshots, she
believed that the suspect was shooting at the deputies. Based on the continued danger to the public
and the belief that the suspect was utilizing deadly force upon other deputies, she shot at the
suspect.

Sergeant Webb was interviewed where he said that as he rounded the patrol vehicle, the
suspect' s vehicle was coming at him, so he shot at the vehicle to stop the threat. When asked for a
specific target he was aiming at; he just repeated he was aiming to stop the threat. Through
additional interviews with Sergeant Heaton, Sergeant McCloud, Lieutenant Ellison, Captain
Arnold and Major Hagans, information was gained that Sergeant Webb informed them that he was
shooting at the tires.

Surveillance video and CO BAN video was reviewed. Deputy Gross' account of events is
consistent with her actions. Her view was obstructed by her vehicle at the time of Sergeant Webb
was discharging his firearm. Therefore, she could not have known who was firing a gun. Sergeant
Webb's action was inconsistent, as the vehicle was never driving towards him. When Sergeant
Webb emerged from behind Deputy Calderone' s vehicle, the suspect's vehicle was going
northbound direction placing Sergeant Webb along the driver' s side of the vehicle. Sergeant Webb
could be seen aiming downward in the direction of the driver' s rear tire when he discharged his
firearm.

No damage to the vehicle was noted in the area of the driver's side that would be consistent
with being shot. Areas of damage along the passenger side of the vehicle were consistent with the
rounds fired by Deputy Gross. Two projectiles were recovered from the vehicle in the area Deputy
Gross was aiming at. One projectile was recovered on the scene of Thornton' s Store along with
abrasion marks in the concrete that are consistent with gunshot ricochet marks. The suspect did
not sustain any gunshot wounds. He did, however, sustain minor injuries due to the apprehension
phase of this investigation. The suspect refused to speak with Detectives. Christopher Kearney was
ultimately arrested and charged with three counts of Robbery, one count of Grand Theft Auto, one
count of Grand Theft, one count of Tampering with an Electronic Monitoring Device and one
count of Fleeing/Eluding. As of 1/11/2019, Christopher Kearney is still incarcerated at the PCJ
where he is awaiting trial.