Shortly before 6:00 a.m., Historic City News received word that Deputy Joey Romer and Deputy Gerald Thompson approached a 2012 KIA Sorento in the parking lot of the Quality Inn located at 2310 SR-16, to investigate a report that the vehicle was stolen.
As the deputies approached, a man and woman appeared outside of the vehicle and were ordered to get down on the ground so the officers could safely inspect the vehicle.
The female, 31-year-old Kimberly Lashane Davis, who lives at 867 West 4th Street in St Augustine, complied with the deputy’s instructions. When she was identified by the officers, it was determined that she was in violation of probation; she was taken into custody without incident.
The male, 17-year-old Brandon Cheques Rich, whose last known address was 1100 King Street Extension in St Augustine, disobeyed instructions, and abruptly reached into the vehicle, toward the center console.
Both Deputy Romer and Thompson gave commands to Rich; ordering him to stop, keep his hands visible, and to get onto the ground — which he refused. Romer, in fear for his life and the safety of hotel guests, only steps away in their rooms, fired a shot towards Rich — striking him in the leg.
St Johns County Fire Rescue responded to the west parking lot of the crime scene where officers had secured and identified Rich; who Sheriff’s spokesman Chuck Mulligan reported is a convicted felon.
Rich was transported to Flagler Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, Community Affairs Corporal Catherine Payne told Historic City News. “Charges of grand theft and resisting arrest without violence are pending against Rich.”
The investigation is continuing into whether or not Rich was armed; or, if he was reaching inside the reportedly stolen vehicle for a weapon to arm himself.