AUBURNDALE, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) –
UPDATE (Sunday, August 23, 2020): The decedent/boyfriend/armed burglary suspect in yesterday’s fatal shooting has been positively identified by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office as Joshua Mathieu, DOB 1/31/86, of Lakeland, Florida. His criminal history dated back to 2010, including several battery arrests (in
2013, 2015, and 2019), two burglaries, and several disorderly conduct arrests.
ORIGINAL POST (Saturday, August 22, 2020):
A Polk County woman shoots, kills boyfriend allegedly attempting to break into her home with a tire iron following a domestic dispute, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd says the fatal shooting occurred just prior to 6:40am on Saturday, August 22, 2020. Two couples, four people, went out for the evening on Friday night and returned to the victim’s residence on Saturday morning around 4am.
According to the preliminary investigation, an argument occurred between a girlfriend (victim) and boyfriend (suspect) which resulted in the boyfriend leaving the residence with the other male, leaving both women at the female victim’s residence. At this time, the victim is not being identified and the suspect will be identified following contact with next of kin.
Shortly after departing, the boyfriend, whom was driving, decided to return to his girlfriend’s home. The male passenger, who had reportedly not been drinking the night before attempted to persuade the driver to “just leave”.
Upon arriving at the girlfriend’s residence, the boyfriend allegedly began banging on the front door and demanding his girlfriend come outside. Neither of the female occupants answered the door. The boyfriend allegedly returned to his vehicle to obtain a tire iron, and once again, the male passenger attempted to persuade his friend to leave.
The boyfriend returned to what appeared to be a bedroom window with tire iron, screaming, and allegedly proclaimed he would knock the windows out if she did not let him in the home. Neither of the women responded and the boyfriend proceeded to break the window and attempted to gain entry. The female homeowner [victim] shot the boyfriend, resulting in immediate death and causing him to drop the tire iron at his feet.
According to Sheriff Judd, all information provided is preliminary evidence and is subject to change following a more thorough investigation. At this early stage in the investigation, Sheriff Judd claims the female victim was fully within her legal rights to defend her home from a burglar, adding, “when you come back to the house that’s not your home and you tried to break in to get a girlfriend who didn’t want to go with you, and you’re shot and killed while trying to break into the house with a tire iron, that’s a bad choice. And that’s the last bad choice he’ll make.”
It is believed that the decedent suspect was drinking the night before. The investigators are still attempting to determine how many shots were fired. Preliminary information says the female victim homeowner was the person who fired the weapon. Sheriff Judd added, “But you have the right to protect yourself in your home and to be free from home invaders, armed burglars and certainly he was armed with a tire iron and was making an attempt to come into the window. She stopped him. She stopped him permanently.”
“Had our suspect to the home invasion listened to his friend and gotten back into the vehicle and left, he would be alive to continue his domestic conversation with his girlfriend.” – Sheriff Judd
Further details will be posted as they become available. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is attempting to notify the next of kin of the suspect.
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