Officer Arnulfo Crispin in grave condition; affidavit says he was shot in the head

5:08 PM, Dec 20, 2011   |    comments
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Lakeland, Florida --  Lakeland police say a young police officer who was seriously injured Sunday night had been shot in the head.

Officer Arnulfo Crispin, 25, was last listed in very critical to grave condition at Lakeland Regional Medical Center where his family and fellow law enforcement have gathered to support the young man.

"He has a large, loving family," said Lakeland Police Chief Lisa Womack. "They are devastated. There are no words to describe how it is over there. Mom dad, multiple siblings are at the hospital right now, they request privacy."

While the family continues to stand vigil by Officer Crispin's side, the 19-year-old suspect had his first day in court.  Kyle Williams stood before a judge Tuesday afternoon for his first appearance on attempted first degree murder of a law enforcement officer.

The hearing lasted only about five minutes. The charge against Williams was read, and the judge gave him no bond.

Williams turned himself in Monday morning after a 10-hour man hunt and convincing by his mother. His step-father Reginald Mitchell told 10 News, "We're the ones that talked to Kyle. We were on the phone when he was being apprehended."

Mitchell says he does not believe his step-son is the one who pulled the trigger.

On Sunday night, Lakeland Police say Officer Crispin stopped to check in on three suspicious people in the area of Crystal Grove.

He radioed in his location at around 10:15 p.m.  When back-up arrived about seven minutes later, officers found Crispin unresponsive with a gunshot wound.

According to a police report, Crispin was patting down one of the suspicious people when Williams allegedly shot him in the head with a handgun.

The weapon has not yet been recovered, and on Tuesday afternoon officers and about 50 police recruits from Polk State College searched the Crystal Grove area for the handgun.

Mitchell says he's not convinced Kyle Williams is the one who pulled the trigger and thinks he's being pressured by gang members to take the blame.

See Also: Shooting suspect a gang member?

"Evidence has to be presented - there has to be a weapon. It has to be fingerprints. It has to be all the parties that are involved," said Mitchell, who added, "We're praying for him [Officer Crispin] that he pulls through for his family members."

Lakeland Police have a different point of view, saying they have every confidence the person responsible for shooting Officer Crispin is in custody.

A $1,000 reward is also being offered to anyone with information that would lead to the recovery of the gun used in the shooting. You can contact the Lakeland Police Department at 863-834-6900, email the hotline at tips@lakelandgov.net, or call Crimestoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS (8477).

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