NEWS RELEASE 20-089 - AUGUST 03, 2020
The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office is continuing to conduct an investigation into an officer-involved shooting that occurred Sunday evening in Sarasota.
Deputies were called to respond around 5:00 p.m. to a domestic battery incident in the 4000 block of Dyer Lane. Prior to the initial call, a female subject reportedly broke a wine glass, attempted to stab herself in the neck, and became violent towards family members. Before units arrived on scene, the suspect fled on foot arming herself with an eight-inch filet knife. With support from the agency’s K-9 and Aviation units, Patrol deputies immediately began searching the neighborhood. The suspect eventually emerged from the wooded area near the intersection of Dyer Lane and Corey Road holding the knife to her throat. She had multiple self-inflicted wounds on her neck, wrists, ankles and torso with blood visible on her clothing. Deputies made several verbal commands for the suspect to drop the knife, however she continued to advance as deputies attempted to maintain a safe distance. The suspect then pointed the knife at the deputies, continuing to approach and ignoring all verbal commands. One deputy deployed his agency-issued Taser in an attempt to de-escalate the situation. When the Taser failed to subdue the suspect, a second deputy fired his duty weapon striking the suspect twice. Deputies immediately rendered first aid, however the suspect was pronounced deceased at the scene by paramedics.
“This is another tragic example of a person with severe mental health issues going into crisis and putting her own life and the lives of others at risk,” said Sheriff Tom Knight. “Our deputies were called in to protect her family and the community, but despite all attempts at de-escalation that included a Taser, they found they had to protect their own lives as well.”
The suspect is identified as 63-year-old Adrean Stephenson. No one else was injured during the incident. The investigation is ongoing.