Deputy involved in fatal shooting has history of violence, “unacceptable” behavior, records show

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — A Brevard County deputy involved in the deadly shooting of two teens in Cocoa last week has a history of domestic violence and behavior deemed “unacceptable” for a deputy sheriff, records show.

The sheriff’s office released the personnel files for deputies Jafet Santiago-Miranda and Carson Hendren Friday.

READ: Dashcam footage released in officer-involved shooting that killed 2 teens in Brevard County

Dash camera video, also released by the sheriff’s office, shows the moment at least one of the two deputies opened fire on a car, killing 18-year-old Sincere Pierce and 16-year-old A.J. Crooms.

UPDATE FROM SHERIFF WAYNE IVEY REGARDING OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING THAT OCCURRED ON FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2020 As some of you are aware this past Friday two of our Deputies, Jafet Santiago-Miranda and Carson Hendren were involved in an Officer Involved Shooting that resulted in the deaths of 16-year-old Angelo Crooms and 18-year-old Sincere Pierce, both members of our community. Deputy Santiago-Miranda has been employed with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office since February of 2017 and is currently assigned to our West Precinct while Deputy Hendren has been employed with the Sheriff’s Office since June of 2018 and is assigned to our West Precinct as well. Currently both Deputies are on paid administrative leave during the course of the investigation as is customary in all officer involved shooting investigations. Even though the incident is still under investigation, and as such we are limited in what we can release at this time, I wanted to provide our community an update on what happened during the incident and also a timeline of when we believe the investigation will be concluded and provided to the State Attorney for review. First and foremost please keep in mind that the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office is not the investigating agency on this case, as it occurred within the jurisdiction of the City of Cocoa who requested that FDLE investigate the case as they are currently limited on resources that would be required to fully and thoroughly conduct an investigation of this nature. As such, our agency will defer to FDLE all further updates on the investigation as it would be inappropriate for us to comment or field questions on their investigative status to any extent outside of this update to the community. What we know to date is that on Friday morning two of our Deputies were attempting to conduct a follow-up investigation on what they believed was a possible stolen car that had just recently fled from another Deputy in the Cocoa area. The vehicle in question was first observed at Clearlake and Dixon, then moments later in the area of Ivy St. in Cocoa at which time the two Deputies observed it making a left hand turn onto Stetson and immediately into the driveway of a nearby residence. At this point the Deputies exited their vehicles in an attempt to make contact with the occupants, however, as you will see in the attached in-car camera video, the driver of the vehicle backed out of the driveway and turned toward the Deputies and their vehicles that were parked in the roadway. As you can clearly hear and see on the video recording, Deputy Santiago–Miranda gives repeated verbal commands, 7 to be exact, for the driver of the vehicle to stop the car, however, the driver of the vehicle, 16 year old Angelo Crooms turns and accelerates the vehicle towards Deputy Santiago-Miranda who was then forced to fire his service weapon in an attempt to stop the deadly threat of the car from crashing into him. Please pay close attention to the video recording, as you can not only hear the repeated verbal commands from the Deputies for the driver of the vehicle to stop, but you can actually see the tires of the vehicle turn sharply as the car accelerates towards Deputy Santiago-Miranda who is now in immediate danger of being struck by the vehicle. In addition to the video evidence that shows our Deputy in harms way, an occupant from inside the vehicle has provided a thorough statement to FDLE that confirms the occupants of the vehicle heard the verbal commands of the Deputy and that Crooms still turned the vehicle and accelerated. While there are many other forthcoming details and evidence concerning this tragic incident, such as the recovery of two firearms from the vehicle, the case is currently an active and ongoing investigation being conducted by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement who anticipates that the investigative findings will be presented to the State Attorney’s Office for review within the next 60-90 days. In closing, I ask that you keep the family of the two young men in your thoughts and prayers and also our Deputies, as an incident of this magnitude impacts everyone, including our entire community!! Sheriff Wayne Ivey

Posted by Brevard County Sheriff's Office, Florida (Official) on Tuesday, November 17, 2020

According to the documents released by the sheriff’s office Friday, deputy Santiago-Miranda was only suspended rather than terminated for his unacceptable behavior because his commanding officer “spoke highly of his performance.”

Santiago-Miranda was placed on administrative leave by the sheriff’s office in April after his wife- a Titusville Police detective- called the sheriff’s office and told them her husband had threatened another man she’d been seeing.

According to the report, Deputy Santiago-Miranda told his wife that the man- who is also a Titusville police officer- needed to “wear a bulletproof vest,” and that he was “getting his shotgun right now.”

READ: Demonstrators march through Cocoa after deputy fatally shot boy, 16, man, 18

When questioned about it, Santiago-Miranda denied making the statement about the vest but admitted to the shotgun comment, saying it was taken out of context.

In another incident, a report says Santiago-Miranda held his wife against her will, causing injuries on her torso, neck, and right leg.

Officers say video of the incident shows their daughter crying and telling her father to let her mother go.

The State Attorney’s Office declined to file charges for domestic battery and child neglect in connection with the incident, citing a lack of evidence.

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Santiago-Miranda was brought back on duty after a 320 hour suspension without pay.

One of the highlights in Santiago-Miranda’s file includes a Life Saving award for an incident in March of 2019 in which Santiago-Miranda and other deputies rescued and resuscitated a near-drowning victim.

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