Justifiable Shooting or Sheriff’s Office Cover-up?
Disturbing New Information
A couple of weeks ago, we reported on the tragic shooting and death of Andrew Lee Scott, 26, by Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Richard Sylvester at the front door of his home at the Blueberry Hill II apartment complex in Leesburg. At the time, we criticized the Sheriff’s Office for trying to create a false narrative in which Scott was painted as a drug dealer and user, and that the Sheriff’s Office Deputies had identified themselves before pounding on Scott’s door. According to witness reports in the media, there is a very big question if Scott was holding his weapon in a threatening position. It was obvious to us that the Sheriff’s Office was spinning the event instead of being forthright.
What Started This Nightmare?
Unfortunately, we have obtained evidence that goes straight to the heart of the credibility of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office in regards to this shooting, and it appears there may be an orchestrated cover-up. Here are the troubling facts we have uncovered:
- A copy of the Leesburg police report shows the incident, which ultimately led to Scott’s death, was triggered by Justin James Jackson, the alleged attempted murder victim who got into an argument with his girlfriend after he reviewed an unattended cell phone. Later, it led to a phone confrontation with Anthony Rodriquez, who was called by Jackson during a heated argument with the girlfriend. Allegedly, at that time, Jackson struck the girlfriend in the face, which resulted in Rodriquez and Jonathan Brown going to Jackson’s residence to physically confront Jackson.
- When Rodriquez and Brown arrived at Jackson’s home a fight commenced. A neighbor in the area heard the ruckus and immediately called the Leesburg Police Department. We have obtained a copy of the audio dispatch from the Leesburg Police Department. During this nearly 27-minute audio you will hear in detail what happened and what information was known at the time Scott was shot.
Disturbing New Facts and Details
The reason why it is important to understand what happened during the initial incident, which resulted in Scott’s death, is because the information suggests the Lake County Sheriff’s Office is not being forthright with all of the facts in this tragedy. Here is what is important:
- The alleged attempted murder victim, Justin James Jackson, is the son of Lake County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Gregory “Scoop” Jackson. Is all of this spinning of facts being done to protect a ranking officer in the Sheriff’s Office?
- The Leesburg Police Department audio from that night always characterized the incident as an assault and battery (Signal 33)–it was never referred to as an attempted murder.
- According to the audio, Jackson only received lacerations on his eye and elbow. Our information is that Jackson required very little medical attention. According to our sources, the attempted murder charges were developed almost two hours after the shooting and an expert in this field said these charges will not prevail.
- Jackson should have been charged with Battery-Domestic Violence on his girlfriend for striking her in the face. Why wasn’t he arrested? Once again, is this a professional courtesy for a member in the Lake County Sheriff’s Office–Lieutenant Greg “Scoop” Jackson?
- Before the shooting, there is no evidence that the Leesburg Police or Lake County Sheriff’s Office knew who was on the motorcycle. It was later determined to be Brown’s “crotch rocket.” Deputy Sylvester initially was in pursuit of a fast motorcycle but was told to break it off by superiors before Leesburg Police told them of the possibility that it was a suspect in their case. When Deputy Sylvester pounded on the door and shot Scott to death, he really had no evidence that was the correct motorcycle or the correct apartment.
- It is unclear; however, it appears just before the shooting Lake County Sheriff’s Deputies were told by Leesburg Dispatch they believed the suspect was possibly armed. This was because Leesburg Police before the shooting determined that Rodriquez, who was pulled over in a pickup truck, was armed but had a valid Florida concealed weapon’s permit. According to reports, Rodriquez cooperated with the Leesburg Police and there was no incident.
This information paints an entirely different picture of the events leading to the shooting and death of Andrew Lee Scott. More importantly, it is disturbing to see how the facts have been withheld from the public to protect the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.
Andrew Lee Scott Had No Chance
Sources familiar with the investigation told us that Lake County Sheriff’s Deputies fired between eight to eleven shots at Andrew Lee Scott at point blank range when he answered the door; and, our best source says it appears Scott was hit no less than five times. If this information is correct, Scott had no chance. What is more alarming is the facts listed below do not justify the type of force used that night.
- The Lake County Sheriff’s Deputies really had no identification on the motorcycle owner or who was driving it.
- The Deputies were advised that the incident was only an assault and battery.
- If the Deputies were so concerned about an armed suspect then why weren’t the surrounding apartments evacuated?
- As a K-9 handler, why didn’t Deputy Sylvester use his K-9 to track the motorcycle driver to his apartment?
- Experts in the field of law enforcement tell us that law enforcement personnel are trained to fire their weapon twice, then to re-asses the threat to determine if further deadly force is needed. Why were so many shots fired?
- Sources who know Deputy Sylvester tell our group he is an aggressive, gung-ho deputy who just days earlier was next to the officer who shot and killed a suspect in Eustis in the stalker killing at Advanced Auto Parts. A professional law enforcement officer told us that Deputy Sylvester should have been on paid administrative leave to investigate the earlier shooting and to ensure he did not suffer from Post–Traumatic Stress Disorder, including more than 40 hours of overtime in previous weeks.
- According to reports from WFTV, the Sheriff’s Office payroll showed Deputy Sylvester had worked a significant amount of overtime prior to the incident, which could have frayed his judgment.
According to reports from Andrew Lee Scott’s family, it is a miracle that his girlfriend was not shot, given the large number of bullets flying through their home.
Two More Victims?
Bad things and tragic accidents happen, and we may never actually know what happened in the seconds leading to the death of Andrew Lee Scott. However, we do know what happened afterwards. It appears to us that within an hour or so of the shooting, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office realized a huge tragic event had taken place, which resulted in the death of an innocent man. Instead of Sheriff Gary Borders coming forward and being forthright that a tragic mistake had been made, he and his Office went into spin cycle to the detriment of the real victim–Andrew Lee Scott. That is the reason why we think the attempted murder charges were levied against Brown for the fight he had with Jackson, the son of Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Gregory “Scoop” Jackson.
Some may say today’s newsletter is about politics and the heated Lake County Sheriff’s race that Sheriff Borders is currently embroiled in. In our view, if anyone has been playing politics with this story it is the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. An event of this magnitude is a direct reflection of the leadership, protocol, and organization of the Sheriff’s Office, and it appears this topic is a conversation Sheriff Borders is unwilling to have three weeks prior to an election.
It is time for the Lake County Sheriff’s Office to come forward with the facts and stop blaming Andrew Lee Scott for answering the door to his home with a weapon in his hand. We call on Sheriff Borders to release all of the facts; and, more importantly, if attempted murder charges have been trumped up against Brown that they be immediately reduced. There very well could be two more victims of this tragic event–Brown and Rodriquez–who could be facing unwarranted charges to distract people from this tragedy. We find it troubling that charges of this magnitude have been pressed against these two men when the Leesburg Police coded the incident as an assault and battery, and that the victim did not require significant medical attention.
Finally, at the end of the audio tape when Scott had been shot, a Lake County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant said to dispatch, “Did the guy come out with a frigin gun?” Shortly after, a Leesburg dispatcher said in despair, after receiving confirmation of the shooting, “Jesus Christ that is what I thought.” These two statements describe the state of panic law enforcement was in after realizing excessive force had been used in a simple assault case.
After you review the documents and listen to the audio tape, tell us what you think.
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