The Sanford Florida Police Department is on the defensive over a fatal shooting that many say could have been prevented, but instead ended with two dead and four injured.
According to NBC News, the police department refutes earlier allegations claiming officers discouraged a now slain woman who called 911 for help. The SPD says they were actually speaking to a third-party who was on the phone with them in a separate location.
The news outlet reports police were called twice in the early morning hours on March 27 to calm an argument between Latina Herring, 35, and her 31-year-old boyfriend Allen Cashe. They were arguing about house and car keys.
After the second call, a police video shows Cashe handcuffed in a patrol car but released after the officers determined that it was not a criminal matter.
“She’s making false accusations,” one of the officers is heard saying, according to NBC News. “It’s the second time she’s done it.”
The outlet said another officer told Herring: “Just stop calling 911 and making accusations that you don’t know about.”
Investigators say Cashe returned to the home hours later. He kicked in the door and fired 24 shots with an assault rifle, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
Herring was shot dead in her bedroom. Her 8-year-old son, Branden, who was sleeping on a couch with his younger brother, died on March 28 from injuries he suffered in the shooting.
Four other people were injured in the shooting, including Herring’s 7-year-old son, her father and two bystanders. Authorities charged Cashe with two counts of first-degree murder, as well as possession of a weapon by a felon, among other charges.
NBC said the police have not commented on the officers’ comments caught on video. However, Police Chief Cecil E. Smith placed the blame squarely on Cashe.
“The cause of this was Mr. Cashe’s making the decision to recklessly shoot and harm these individuals,” Smith said after the shooting.