Putnam County Shooting Investigation Update

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has identified the third individual involved with the Putnam County shooting investigation.  Authorities have charged Avery Corbitt, 19, of Pomona Park with one count of conspiracy to traffic cocaine.  He is currently being held at the Putnam County Jail with no bond.

On April 28, 2011 at 1430 hours in the Lake Como Area of Pomona Park in Putnam County, members of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Tri-County Narcotics Task Force came under fire during an undercover purchase of narcotics and weapons.

According to investigators, three suspects approached undercover officers, produced weapons and immediately opened fire on task force members.  Task force members returned fire which resulted in the death of Rodrigo Espinoza, 22, of Pomona Park.  A second suspect was shot in the neck and he was taken to a local hospital, his identity has not been released at this time.  His injuries are not considered life threatening.   The third suspect then fled the scene.  After an intensive manhunt, investigators arrested Emmanuel Espinoza, 17, of Pomona Park.  Emmanuel Espinoza was charged with aggravated assault with a firearm and conspiracy to traffic in cocaine.

St. Augustine Beach Police Officer David Tiller was shot in the leg during the exchange of gunfire.  He was taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The Tri-County Narcotics Task Force is comprised of FDLE, the Putnam, St. Johns, and Flagler County Sheriff’s Offices, Palatka Police Department, St. Augustine Beach Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Emmanuel Espinoza was booked into the Putnam County Jail, with no bond.  The case will be prosecuted by the Office of the State Attorney, 7th Judicial Circuit.

The investigation is ongoing.

For Further Information Contact:
Heather Smith, Keith Kameg or Kristi Gordon
Office of Public Information
(850) 410-7001