POINCIANA, Fla. – A Polk County SWAT team fatally shot a murder suspect early Monday after investigators say he pulled a gun on them after barricading himself inside a house.
Sheriff Grady Judd said his SWAT team first shot Rudy “Shorty” Arenas, 40, with beanbag guns to knock him down in an attempt to disarm him, but when he retrieved his .22-caliber handgun and pointed it at them, three members fatally shot him.
Judd said Arenas stole the gun Sunday from an acquaintance and then called Orlando Rivera, telling him to come see him as he wanted to show Rivera something. Rivera arrived with his wife, Brenda, after picking up food for their children, pulling up next to Arenas as he stood on a suburban street at about 7:30 p.m. Sunday.
Arenas pulled out a wad of cash and started counting it, Judd said. When Orlando Rivera complained that he didn't have time to watch Arenas count money, Arenas pulled his gun and fired numerous rounds into the minivan, killing Orlando Rivera and seriously wounding his wife, Judd said. She was hospitalized in stable condition.
Judd said Arenas then went to see his daughter, who called 911. He left, and when deputies spotted Arenas again, he pulled in front of a relative's home and ran inside, locking himself in the bathroom. The SWAT team was brought out.
Judd said Arenas appeared to be on drugs, telling deputies he was on fentanyl. After long negotiations that included Arenas making suicide threats and a robot delivering him a cigarette, he walked out of the bathroom early Monday with his hand in his pocket.
The SWAT team then shot him with beanbags, knocking him down, and his gun fell to the floor. Judd said Arenas picked it up and pointed it at the deputies.
“That was his last bad choice,” Judd said. Deputies opened fire, killing him.
Judd said both Arenas and Orlando Rivera had long criminal histories in Florida and elsewhere — Arenas in Rhode Island and Rivera in Philadelphia.