Lake Mary, FL – Prosecutors have cleared three police officers who shot a man in a shopping center parking lot in May after he pulled a gun on the officers (video below).
Prosecutors reviewed a report following an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).
They determined Lake Mary Police Officers Martin A. Neal, Robert Ritter, and William Rodwick were justified in shooting 34-year-old David Romansky, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
The shooting followed a road rage incident that occurred at about 7 p.m. on May 15 after police responded to a 911 call about Romansky brandishing a weapon at another driver.
Police tracked Romansky’s car to the Shoppes of Lake Mary plaza on West Lake Mary Boulevard, and found him sitting in the vehicle talking on the phone. The car had a flat tire, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
He was parked in front of an Italian ice shop in a busy area with lots of pedestrians.
Officers approached the vehicle and tried to get Romansky to come out and talk to them, but he refused to comply, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
One of the officers used a punch to break the driver’s door window to reach him, WFTV reported.
A firefighter who happened to be nearby captured the altercation that followed on video.
In the video, two officers were struggling with Romansky through the broken window, and then one of the officers managed to get the door open.
Romansky continued to violently struggle with the officers. Someone off camera can be heard saying “he’s probably armed.”
Officers deployed a Taser on the suspect, but it had no effect, WFTV reported.
At that point, the suspect’s brother, Christopher Romansky, approached the vehicle and tried to help.
He told police he tried to make eye contact with his brother and calm him down, but was not successful.
In the video, officers ordered Christopher Romansky to “stay back.”
And then one of the officers yelled “gun” after he spotted a gun under Romansky’s leg on the car seat.
Romansky pulled the weapon out and pointed it at the officers, the video showed.
One of the officers fired twice at the suspect as the rest backed quickly away from the SUV’s open door.
At first, the suspect leaned away from the officers and into his vehicle, as if he was hit.
Then as officers moved in on the vehicle, Romansky leaned forward into the open door and began shooting at them, the video showed.
Officers Neal, Ritter, and Rodwick returned fire, and the video showed they did not stop shooting until Romansky fell forward and out of the vehicle to the pavement.
“I fired because it was very possible that he [Romansky] was firing at my fellow officers and/or the general public that was standing right there behind them,” Officer Neal told FDLE agents during the investigation. “I knew that we had civilians all around.”
Christopher Romansky told officers that he thought his brother had “planned this,” the Orlando Sentinel reported.
He told police that his brother acted erratic when he had been drinking.
“He [David Romansky] was going to pull a gun on officers and they were going to do what they were trained to do,” Christopher Romansky said.
The FDLE report showed that the three officers had fired more than 25 shots, and successfully hit Romansky 10 times, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
The justified shooting findings were based the officers’ statements, which were corroborated by witness statements, bodycam video, and the cell phone video shot by the firefighter, WFTV reported.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content: