Drone spotted at Orange County standoff scene raises questions

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating a deputy-involved shooting that left one suspect dead.

Around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, undercover Orange County deputies delivered a package of marijuana to Harrison Carter’s home in Belle Isle.

Deputies said Carter came to the door with a handgun.

Shots were fired, and Carter retreated back into the house, which led to a two-hour standoff.

When deputies went into the home, they found Carter dead.

During the standoff, deputies said they spotted someone flying a drone overhead, which caused concern that someone might have been helping the suspect inside.

“There’s been at least one report that someone had a drone that was up flying over the area. We ask whoever that person is to back out of that area,” said Sheriff Jerry Demings.

It’s believed a private citizen guided the drone over the scene on Hawford Circle.

Some drones have the capability of feeding live video that could aid a suspect and put law enforcement in danger.

Channel 9’s Ryan Hughes spoke to Michael Fortin, the owner of CineDrone, a company that builds drones.

Fortin said he thinks the machines can actually help law enforcement when in the proper hands.

“I believe that there should rightfully be a concern because it’s a new technology, but it’s not something people should be afraid of,” said Fortin.

Fortin thinks all police agencies should keep drones on hand.

“We can still do better because we can get closer. And we can give them a much more intimate look and a much better for what they’re actually doing on the ground in real time,” Fortin said.

The Federal Aviation Administration wants to keep drones on the ground.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office bought two drones last year, but don’t use them until their use is figured out in court.

“It’s certainly a tool they can certainly utilize that would help save lives, save time and give them a bird's eye view of what's going on,” Fortin said.

Final rules on drones are expected from the government next year.

The Sheriff’s Office still doesn’t know who was flying the drone at the standoff scene.