Sheriff's deputy shoots man at Orlando apartment complex

Deputies were investigating report of stolen vehicle, officials say

Local 6: Morning News at 6a
Local 6: Morning News at 6a

ORLANDO, Fla. – A witness says a man shot and critically injured by an Orange County sheriff's deputy had his hands up at the time of the shooting, as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigates.

Officials said Orange County sheriff's Sgt. Robert McCarthy shot Cedric Bartee, 28, early Monday at the Timber Sound apartments, south of State Road 408 near South Kirkman Road.

According to the Orange County Sheriff's Office, a car was reported stolen at the Race Trac at 300 N. Kirkman Road. Deputies found the vehicle at the apartment complex and confronted two men, later identified by the Sheriff's Office as Bartee and 28-year-old Henry Lee Chaney.

Officials said Chaney complied with the deputies' commands, but Bartee made "extensive furtive movements," causing McCarthy to fear for his safety and open fire, the Sheriff's Office said.

A witness questioned why shots were fired in the incident.

"You could see right in the car. Both of them had their hands up and they still shot at the car," said witness Ernest Miles Jr., who added that he had to take cover in his second-floor apartment. "I was scared for my kids because the way the car was facing any of those bullets could have went anywhere. I got away from the window. It kind of shocked me because I've never seen nothing like that before."

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings held a news conference on Monday afternoon calling for a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation into the shooting in light of other police shootings around the nation.

"I want to ensure that we have transparency as well as accountability for the actions of all of my staff that's involved," said Demings.

Demings also said that witness statements are conflicting as to whether Bartee had his hands up.

Religious leaders at the news conference urged the public to not make judgment on OCSO until the investigation is complete.

Bartee was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center and underwent surgery. He was listed in critical but stable condition, officials said. Chaney was arrested.

The deputies were not injured. McCarthy has been with the Sheriff's Office since May 2007, officials said. He has been placed on administrative duty, which is standard procedure in shootings.

Former Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee is lead investigator on the shooting for FDLE. Lee was fired in the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin shooting death investigation.

FDLE says it is a routine assignment for Lee's new role.