Update: Palm Bay Officer Shoots Robbery Suspect

By  //  November 28, 2012

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FDLE To Investigate Incident

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BREVARD COUNTY • PALM BAY, FLORIDA – An armed robbery suspect was shot by a Palm Bay Police officer after he stormed into a Walgreens Pharmacy and held an employee at gunpoint.

Police officers responded to the Walgreens Pharmacy at 1160 Malabar Road about 11:05 p.m. Tuesday after receiving a call from witnesses that said a robber wearing a mask had entered the store, according to Palm Bay Police Community Information Officer Yvonne Martinez.

Inside the pharmacy, officers found a suspect holding the store’s pharmacist at gunpoint in an apparent robbery attempt.

Upon encountering officers, the suspect fled the store and was shot while fleeing by a member of the Palm Bay Police Crime Suppression Unit.

The suspect, Kenneth Kirwan Jr. of West Mebourne, 20, is listed in critical condition at Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne.

Detectives with Palm Bay’s Major Case Unit are continuing the investigation into the armed robbery and felony charges are pending for Kirwan.

Martinez said that per protocol with any law enforcement shooting, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will launch an investigation about the shooting.

The member of the Crime Suppression unit who shot Kirwan Officer has been identified as Office Josh Taylor, 40. He  is currently on paid administrative leave pending the initial outcome of the FDLE investigation.

Taylor has been with the Palm Bay Police Department since April 29, 2002 and is a certified firearms instructor and an active member of the SWAT team since 2004.

During his tenure, Officer Taylor has received numerous commendations and letters of recognition for outstanding performance of his duties.  Among them were several responses to critical incidents involving dangerous suspects and crime trends that were effectively managed to successful conclusions yielding positive results for the safety of the citizens in the community.

Officer Taylor has also benefited from thousands of hours of training and professional development including critical incident response, physiology of shooting, response to barricaded subjects, active shooter, defensive tactics, firearms enhancement skills, less lethal use of force, hostage negotiations and more.

“Whenever an officer is put in a situation where he has to make a decision to use deadly force it is ultimately to protect his life and the lives of others that may be in danger,” said Palm Bay Police Chief Doug Muldoon.  “Unfortunately the suspect and his dangerous actions resulted in his current condition. We will cooperate fully with the FDLE investigation and will ensure a thorough and unbiased investigation into the circumstances surrounding this incident.  Our officers are exceptionally trained to handle these types of incidents and their number one priority is the safety of the public.”

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call the Central Florida Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477).