Thursday, March 9, 2006
The State Attorney’s Office is investigating whether the fatal shooting of a man by Collier County Deputy Sheriff Brian Cohen in Immokalee on Wednesday was justified, officials said.
The deputy, whose name the Sheriff’s Office released late Wednesday night, shot and killed the man, who was driving a truck.
Cohen reported he opened fired when the suspect, who was identified by family members as Charles Torres, 35, of Immokalee, began driving his truck in the direction of the deputy, who was outside of his vehicle at the time.
Cohen is on administrative leave, which is standard procedure when the Sheriff’s Office investigates a shooting.
“It’s very common,” State Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Chere Avery said of the investigation.
“Any time we have a situation like this, an investigation must be conducted.”
Avery said she is unsure how long the investigation will take.
The shooting occurred at about 2:40 a.m. near North 15th Street and Indian Camp Road.
Cohen was taking a report of a stolen truck near Farm Workers Village in Immokalee when the deputy observed the stolen truck driving by, said Brigid O’Malley, spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Office.
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Cohen pursued the truck, authorities said, and was soon joined by a second deputy, who took over the chase. The second deputy followed the truck into a field near Indian Camp Road, where the driver of the truck drove through a fence, authorities said.
Cohen called the crash in to emergency dispatchers as he left his marked patrol car. The driver then turned the truck around and traveled in Cohen’s direction, O’Malley said.
Cohen fired at the driver, who was pronounced dead at the scene by Emergency Medical Services.
A woman who was inside the truck wasn’t injured, authorities said.
The names of the suspect and his passenger have not been released by investigators.