Family of shoplifter shot and killed by police calling for accountability

ORLANDO, Fla. — The family of a man shot and killed by Orlando police in 2018 is asking the Citizens Review Board that his death not be in vain.

Master Sgt. Anthony Wonshue and Officer Juan Abreu approached a vehicle at the Colonial Plaza after a report of shoplifting.

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Juan Silva was behind the wheel and was killed as he sped away. The officers’ actions were found to be justified.

Wongshue was arrested after a grand jury indicted him, but the state attorney dropped the manslaughter charge. Both officers were cleared of any wrongdoing after an internal investigation.

The attorney for Silva’s family said that can’t be where it ends, noting that there are five young children without a father because the officer didn’t follow department policy about not shooting into moving vehicles.

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Most of the board members agreed, but Chairman Richard Crabtree said last week’s simulation training the board participated in gave him some perspective, and said the officers’ actions were regrettable but reasonable.

However, other board members questioned why guns were drawn on a shoplifter.

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A special meeting has been called to make recommendations to the chief as to what they think still needs to be done so shoplifters don’t lose their lives again.

Shannon Butler

Shannon Butler, WFTV.com

Shannon joined the Eyewitness News team in 2013.

Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.