Trooper exonerated in Pinellas cemetery shooting - WRBL

Trooper exonerated in Pinellas cemetery shooting

Posted: Updated:
PINELLAS COUNTY, FL -

The FHP Inspector General has cleared State Trooper Daniel Cole of any wrongdoing the morning he fired 18 rounds from his assault rifle, and wounded a Pinellas Park cemetery owner during an ill-fated stolen motorcycle investigation.

The report, finalized last month and released today, cites a prior criminal investigation of the shooting that concluded "Cole's actions during this incident were justified and in accordance with FHP Policy."

Cole made headlines in an earlier incident when he used a taser on a woman who was running from him at an FHP substation after he arrested her. She fell and struck her head causing brain injuries.

The trooper also shot a motorist once who he thought was reaching for a gun during a traffic stop. Investigations in both cases cleared Cole of wrongdoing.

It was foggy and still dark the morning of September 10 last year when Cole tracked a LoJack signal--indicating a stolen vehicle--into the Royal Palm Cemetery in Pinellas Park near I-275. At the time Clifford Work, the cemetery's owner, was sleeping in a shed with a radio blaring.

Work awoke to the sound of someone banging on the door and said he wasn't aware it was a state trooper and Pinellas Park police officers who had arrived for backup.

He opened the door with a gun in his hand and the trooper opened fire with his assault rifle, peppering the shed with 18 rounds and striking Work once in the thigh. Work was seriously wounded, but survived.

The IG report concludes that Cole was in reasonable fear of his life when Work sprung open the door with a .45-caliber pistol in his hand. The 19 page report ends with a single capitalized word: "EXONERATED."

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: @wflatampa

 

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • FL vehicle registration renewal fees drop

    FL vehicle registration renewal fees drop

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:49 AM EDT2014-09-01 10:49:59 GMT
    That little gift you get from the state on your birthday every year, to renew your car tag, is going to be cheaper starting Monday.  The cut will save drivers about $13 to $25 depending on the size of their vehicle.
    That little gift you get from the state on your birthday every year, to renew your car tag, is going to be cheaper starting Monday.  The cut will save drivers about $13 to $25 depending on the size of their vehicle.
  • Mold takes over St. Pete condo, creeps into neighbors' homes

    Mold takes over St. Pete condo, creeps into neighbors' homes

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:48 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:48:06 GMT
    Josephine Ramos is literally sick about the toxic black mold growing in the St. Petersburg condominium beside hers. She's been feeling ill for months with headaches and breathing problems. Recently, she had peak inside the condo next doors and couldn't believe her eyes.
    Josephine Ramos is literally sick about the toxic black mold growing in the St. Petersburg condominium beside hers. She's been feeling ill for months with headaches and breathing problems. Recently, she had peak inside the condo next doors and couldn't believe her eyes.
  • Lakeland neighborhood has continuing water problems, asks 8OYS for help

    Lakeland neighborhood has continuing water problems, asks 8OYS for help

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:03 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:03:34 GMT
    Some Lakeland residents are tired of wondering whether they'll have water at home. Over the past month, they tell 8 On Your Side that they've lost water with no warning at least five times. And what's worse, the water stays off for up to eight hours at a time
    Some Lakeland residents are tired of wondering whether they'll have water at home. Over the past month, they tell 8 On Your Side that they've lost water with no warning at least five times. And what's worse, the water stays off for up to eight hours at a time
  • NewsMore>>

  • Labor Day - more than just a day off

    Labor Day - more than just a day off

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:41 AM EDT2014-09-01 10:41:03 GMT
    While many people have the day off work, the day is actually meant to celebrate the achievements and contributions of American workers.
    While many people have the day off work, the day is actually meant to celebrate the achievements and contributions of American workers.
  • Two shot outside party in Tampa

    Two shot outside party in Tampa

    Monday, September 1 2014 3:59 AM EDT2014-09-01 07:59:20 GMT
    Two people have gunshot wounds after a shooting outside a party in Tampa early Sunday morning, Tampa police said. 
    Two people have gunshot wounds after a shooting outside a party in Tampa early Sunday morning, Tampa police said. 
  • Pilot dies in plane crash near downtown St. Pete

    Pilot dies in plane crash near downtown St. Pete

    Monday, September 1 2014 3:44 AM EDT2014-09-01 07:44:26 GMT
    Rescue boaters are on the scene of a downed banner plane near Albert Whitted Airport.Rescue boaters are on the scene of a downed banner plane near Albert Whitted Airport.
    The pilot of a banner plane that crashed into the water near Albert Whitted Airport has died, St. Petersburg police officials said. 
    The pilot of a banner plane that crashed into the water near Albert Whitted Airport has died, St. Petersburg police officials said. 

Powered by WorldNow

1350 13th Avenue
Columbus, GA 31901

Telephone: 706.323.3333
Fax: 706.327.6655
Email: news@wrbl.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.