ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Channel 9 has obtained cellphone video shot by a
witness after a man was shot by deputies at an Orange County apartment complex early Monday morning.
The shooting happened at the Timber Sound apartment complex and involved a call about a stolen Honda Accord that was spotted at a RaceTrac gas station on North Kirkman Road, investigators said.
"I've asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to conduct a criminal investigation into the actions of my deputies involved earlier this morning," Sheriff Jerry Demings said at a press conference Monday.
Demings said deputies saw two men inside the Honda and followed them to the apartment complex. According to investigators, deputies approached the car and made multiple commands. The passenger complied with deputies, but the driver did not, the Orange County Sheriff's Office said.
"They were given commands to surrender, to comply with commands," said Capt. Angelo Nieves, with the Sheriff's Office. "The passenger complied. The driver continued to make movements inside the vehicle."
Authorities said one deputy, Sgt. Robert McCarthy, felt threatened by the driver and fired shots at him.
"The driver made extensive furtive movements and Sgt. Robert McCarthy feared for his safety," said Demings.
No weapons were subsequently found in the stolen vehicle, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Witnesses at the apartment complex told Channel 9 it appeared the men had their hands up when the deputy opened fire. Another witness said no commands were given until after the shots were fired.
The driver, identified as Cedric Bartee,
28, was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center. He is in critical condition following surgery, Demings said. The passenger in the car, Henry Chaney, 28, was arrested without incident.
Demings held a press conference to address the incident, and calm possible racial tensions because Bartee is black and the deputy is white.
"This is not really just about this particular incident, but I am very sensitive to the events that have occurred around the nation in recent times that have strained police-community relations," said Demings.
Demings also reached out to Orange County Commissioner Victoria Siplin, whose district includes the apartment complex where the shooting happened.
"I let the sheriff know that I was there because I was concerned and we want to make sure there was a level of accountability," said Siplin.
The deputy who opened fire was later identified as Sgt. Robert McCarthy, who has been with the agency since 2007.
McCarthy was placed on administrative duty while the investigation takes place, officials said.