State Attorney Andrew A, Bain Ninth Judicial Circuit
State Attorney Andrew A, Bain Ninth Judicial Circuit

Press Release

Andrew A. Bain




M. Ryan Williams​


Jamie McManus


Kamilah Perry




Public Information Office

415 N. Orange Ave

Orlando, FL 32801

Grand Jury Recommends Osceola County Sheriff’s Office Change Vehicle Block Policies Following Fatal Deputy-Involved Shooting

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – On Wednesday afternoon, an Osceola County grand jury recommended the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office create, update and implement policies regarding tactical vehicle takedowns, or vehicle blocks, in the wake of a fatal 2022 deputy-involved shooting outside a Target in Osceola County.

Detailed in a presentment, or statement, released to the public Feb. 29, the grand jury determined while the two deputies’ actions did not rise to the level of criminal charges, ineffective and insufficient communication and training by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office needlessly created circumstances that resulted in a shooting that killed Jayden Baez, 21, and left two others injured.

On April 27, 2022, detectives from the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office were conducting field training exercises nearby when they responded to the Target store parking lot located at 4795 West Irlo Brunson Memorial Hwy in Kissimmee. Deputies observed a black Audi with a concealed license plate and saw two men from the Audi put on masks and hoodies and enter the store. Detectives notified a Target loss prevention employee who informed officers he observed the men allegedly committing a theft. Once the men returned to the vehicle, multiple deputies used their vehicles to block and apprehend the men. The driver of the Audi attempted to escape, striking several deputies’ vehicles. During the escape attempt, two deputies fired their weapons several times. Three men inside the Audi were struck by gunfire, including Baez, who died.

On Jan. 2, the grand jury decided criminal charges against the two deputies who opened fire were not legally appropriate and rendered a No True Bill decision. The Ninth Circuit State Attorney’s Office allows the grand jury to make a statement regarding law enforcement policies and best practice recommendations after a charging decision in officer-involved use of force cases.

In a statement, State Attorney Andrew Bain said, “The grand jury listened to evidence and testimony over four days and concluded this tragic incident never should have happened. They identified grave concerns about the lack of communication and insufficient deputy training regarding the poorly executed and failed vehicle block that contributed to these circumstances. They questioned whether the appropriate amount of force was used to apprehend misdemeanor shoplifters and were very troubled policies were not in place at the time to adequately address their concerns. We respect the grand jury’s findings and their thoroughness in identifying strong recommendations to hopefully prevent future tragedies like this from happening.”

Grand Jury Recommendations

The grand jury identified five areas where the sheriff’s office needs to make improvements to ensure a similar tragedy never happens again.

     1. Policy Regarding Surrounding Circumstances Before Executing a Vehicle Bock
         The grand jury strongly recommended the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office implement a policy that outlines when and where a vehicle block can be used to apprehend suspects that takes time, place, surroundings and circumstances into account.

     2. Identifying What Offenses Qualify for Vehicle Blocks
          The grand jury had serious questions about whether the appropriate amount of force was used to apprehend misdemeanor shoplifters. They recommended the sheriff’s office establish a policy specifying which offenses justify using a vehicle block that considers both the nature of the offense and the immediate danger the offender poses to law enforcement and the public.

     3. Communication and Execution of the Vehicle Block
          The grand jury found the deputies’ training around vehicle blocks was insufficient. They also cited serious concerns around the execution of the block, calling it problematic, ill-planned and impulsive.

          One of the deputies involved in the vehicle block was a trainee on the day of the incident and it is not clear what experience, if any, he had with performing vehicle blocks. The grand jury also points out that there was little to no communication between deputies in the twenty-nine seconds from when a deputy confirmed the shoplifting to the vehicle block being executed.

          The investigation revealed the vehicle block ultimately failed, allowing the driver of the vehicle to move forward into the pathway of a deputy who had gotten out of his car after the failed vehicle block.

          There was also no communication about what would happen after the vehicle block to secure the men inside the vehicle, further compounding the risk to deputies and potential bystanders.

          The grand jury said the lack of communication and training increased the potential harm from unintentional crossfire and urged the sheriff’s office to closely examine the facts of the case to implement sufficient policies that minimize those threats.

     4. Body Worn Cameras
          The grand jury recommended the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office require deputies wear body-worn cameras when they anticipate the detention or arrest of a citizen, noting the absence of such cameras in this incident.

     5. Deputies Placing Themselves in Harm’s Way and Firing into Moving Vehicles
          The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office has made several changes to its vehicle block policies in the wake of the shooting. Policy 461.0(K)(2) was updated to require deputies directly involved with executing vehicle blocks not get out of their vehicle until the suspect is fully compliant and the keys are removed from the suspect’s car.

The grand jury suggests the sheriff’s office make it clear the updated policy also applies to passengers in law enforcement vehicles as well as the drivers.

Osceola County Sheriff’s Office Policy Changes

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office has implemented or updated several policies in the wake of the 2022 fatal deputy-involved shooting.

     Vehicle Block Policy
     In an update to Policy 461.0, deputies are now required to consider several risk factors before utilizing a Tactical Vehicle Takedown (TVT) or vehicle block. Factors such as location, type of vehicle, time of day, civilian vehicle and pedestrian traffic and their ability to control it, natural barriers and status of deputy communications all must be considered before a vehicle block is executed.

     Changes to Vehicle Block Offense Eligibility
     The sheriff’s office has implemented a new policy to only allow vehicle blocks for suspects in felony crimes and based on the totality of circumstances that do not create unnecessary risk to officers and the public.

     Policy on Deputies Placing Themselves in Harm’s Way
     In an update to Policy 461.0(K)(2), the sheriff’s office explicitly states all deputies directly involved in executing a vehicle block will not exit their vehicles until the suspect is fully compliant and keys are removed and placed outside the car.

     Policy 470.0 was also updated to expressly state deputies will not intentionally place themselves in the path of a moving vehicle or its potential escape path, creating circumstances where deadly force is likely. A deputy in the path of an approaching vehicle must also move to a position of safety rather than fire their weapon into the vehicle.

The grand jury’s presentment was written with the assistance of the Ninth Circuit State Attorney’s Office. The full statement has been posted on our website. The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office and the attorney representing the victims and their families have also received copies.

The State Attorney’s Office will also distribute the presentment to all law enforcement agencies in Orange and Osceola Counties. While our office cannot force agencies to review, update or adopt the recommendations in the report, it is our hope that they review the presentment and make any necessary changes to bring their policies, training and procedures in line with these best practice recommendations.



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