Saturday, June 9, 2007

Eatonville cop wounds teen at park

The juvenile waved a gun at officers, authorities say. He was shot in the leg.

April Hunt
Sentinel Staff Writer

June 8, 2007

An Eatonville police officer shot and wounded a teenager who pointed a gun at him during a chase near Catalina Park on Thursday, officials said.

Nigel Akins suffered a gunshot wound to the leg. He was treated at Orlando Regional Medical Center, released and then booked into the Juvenile Assessment Center, said Eatonville police Capt. Joseph Jenkins.

Officer Bryan Salters, who was put on administrative leave per standard procedure, fired just one shot, Jenkins said.

However, police received several 911 calls about shots being fired in the park just before the confrontation.

"We're trying to get to the bottom of what happened in the park prior to Officer Salters getting here," Jenkins said. "He was on routine patrol and saw suspicious activity but did not know about the other shots."

A group of young men ran off when Salters approached. He called for backup, and Detective Robert Jones pursued. Akins ran back toward Salters.

Jenkins said the teen pointed a handgun at the officer. That gun was recovered after the shooting, and tests are being done to see whether the gun had been fired.

Neighbors in the Catalina Park subdivision said the suspects ran off because police have threatened to arrest anyone hanging around on the street corners.

Jackie Singleton was asleep in her home on Katherine Place near the park when she heard several shots, and her daughter told her about the shooting.

"They tell them if they see them on the corner, they'll take them to jail," Singleton said. "I don't sell drugs or anything, but even I can't stand on the corner. I know they're trying to do their job, but they're overdoing it."

Salters had not fired his gun in the line of duty before. He has been with the department for about eight months, after a stint with another agency. Before that, he was an Eatonville officer for two years.

Police would not release a criminal history on Akins or give his exact age because he is a juvenile. Jenkins said police did have run-ins with the teen before.

Akins faces charges of felony assault with a firearm, possession of a firearm and resisting arrest with violence.

The incident has been turned over to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and investigators were on the scene Thursday.

Despite the shooting and hours of police activity, kids continued to play in the park.

"Kids are always playing there," said Gale Spencer, whose 9-year-old son and nephew were playing when the shots rang out.

"I don't know how they didn't get shot."

April Hunt can be reached at or 407-420-6269.

No comments: