A police officer in Florida has been arrested for making up a story about two black men attempting to carjack him after he accidentally shot himself while ‘playing’ with his gun.
Dakotah Wood, 21, a since-resigned telecommunicator at the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office in Florida, has been charged with tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, false reports of commission of crimes and discharging a firearm in public or residential property.
He allegedly alerted officers from Hernando County Sheriff’s Office to trouble at a park in Weeki Wachee early on Friday, 30th June.
Wood reportedly described two black men attempting to steal his car with one shooting him in the leg and threatening to kill him.
He told police that he fought back and fired five shots, saying that he hit one of the suspects.
Wood was treated in hospital for the gunshot wound before admitting to detectives at his bedside that he had made most of it up, other than suffering from a gunshot.
He in fact reportedly shot himself while “playing” with his gun in his car.
Newsflash obtained a statement from the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office on Friday, 7th July, saying: “On 06-30-2023 at approximately 3:30 a.m., Hernando County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the area of Shoal Line Boulevard and Cortez Boulevard in reference to an attempted car-jacking/shooting.
“The victim/suspect, identified as Dakotah Wood DOB/08-27-2001, advised while at Linda Pedersen Park, two unknown black males attempted to steal his vehicle. Wood said the men displayed a firearm and made a threat to kill him before shooting him in the thigh.
“Wood said the shooter collected the shell casing prior to fleeing the area on foot. After being shot, Wood said he obtained his personal firearm and fired approximately five rounds in self-defence. Wood further advised he believed he hit one of the suspects several times.
“Following the shooting, Wood advised he relocated from the park to the intersection of Cortez Boulevard and Shoal Line Boulevard to create a safe distance from the suspects.”
The statement also said: “Wood was transported from the scene to an area hospital for treatment of his gunshot wound. The Forensic Unit responded to collect and process evidence at the scene.”
But he then changed his story, with the statement saying: “When detectives interviewed Wood at the hospital, Wood advised investigators he fabricated his original story. Wood said he drove to Linda Pedersen Park because he was upset over issues he was having with his girlfriend.
“Wood said he was ‘playing’ with his firearm in his vehicle when the firearm accidentally discharged, hitting him in the thigh. Wood said he made up the story about the attempted car-jacking because he did not want to get into trouble. “
Sheriff Al Nienhuis said: “These types of situations are relatively rare, unfortunate, and unpleasant. My administration, however, has a very public reputation of holding my people accountable for their actions. The public can be confident that when an employee does something of this nature, they will forfeit their ability to be associated with the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.”
The investigation is ongoing.