3 juveniles arrested in Ryder shooting case

Three youths have been charged in connection with a November 2018 case in which a woman, Sandra Ryder, 53, of Homosassa was found shot

Three youths have been charged in connection with a November 2018 case in which a woman, Sandra Ryder, 53, of Homosassa was found shot in the head at her home near Grover Cleveland Boulevard..

The Sheriff’s Office said that they were called to the woman’s home at 6143 W. Wayward Loop on Nov. 21, 2018 at about 12:43 pm.

Upon arrival, found Ryder laying on the ground with an apparent head injury. Deputies quickly started cardiopulmonary resuscitation until emergency medical services (EMS) arrived. Upon arrival of EMS, Mrs. Ryder was pronounced deceased at 12:55 pm.

During the search for possible suspects and evidence, detectives discovered that several residents in the area said they had heard what they believed to be gunfire, and pointed out a possible residence in the proximity of this incident where they believed the gunfire originated.

At that time, detectives made contact with a group of juveniles at the residence, who were then questioned. It was later determined that the juveniles had been shooting in the wooded area behind the Ryder’s residence. Firearms, as well as several spent ammunition cartridges, were collected for evidentiary processing.

After gathering and analyzing the forensic evidence for this case and communicating with the State Attorney’s Office, on April 2, 2019, the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office arrested three juveniles for the manslaughter of Sandra Ryder and for possession of a firearm by a minor.

Arrested were:

  • Zoey Ellan Andersen, age 13 (DOB 05/31/2005)
  • Joseph Shane Finn, age 14 (DOB 08/18/2004)
  • Jason Byron Simms, age 14 (DOB 07/22/2004)

“The loss of Sandra Ryder the day before Thanksgiving was devastating. Now, the futures of the three juveniles responsible for her death hang in the balance as prosecutors prepare to bring the case to court,” said Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast. “Teenagers can be impulsive and reckless. Unfortunately, for these three, their careless actions took another person’s life and will carry harsher consequences

“Our thoughts and prayers remain with the family of Mrs. Ryder,” Sheriff Prendergast said.

SO YOU KNOW:

Floral City man dies after not dropping gun; UPDATE: Man identified

A Floral City man, thought to be possibly suicidal, was shot and killed on Friday night by Citrus County deputies.

Citrus County technicians and detectives investigate the scene where a man was shot and killed by a deputy. According to the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, the man was shot after he refused to put down a weapon he was carrying (August 31, 2018)

A Floral City man, thought to be possibly suicidal, was shot and killed on Friday night by Citrus County deputies.

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office said that the incident occurred at about 11:52 p.m. when deputies responded to a call of  a possibly suicidal man at a home at 5699 Sandalwood Way in Floral City.

Once deputies arrived on scene, they attempted to make contact with the subject at the front door. After unsuccessful attempts to locate the subject inside of the residence, deputies then began to search the outside of the home in an effort to locate and evaluate the man.

While in the front yard of the residence, deputies noticed a subject across the street in a wooded area, the Sheriff’s Office said. Deputies immediately began announcing themselves while walking toward a man in the woods. Deputies quickly noticed the man was holding a firearm.

Deputies gave several verbal commands to the man to lower and drop his weapon. After refusing their commands, deputies shot the armed man.

He was pronounced deceased at the scene. No deputies were injured during the incident.

As with any deputy-involved shooting, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is on scene and investigating this case. Following agency policy, deputies involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave with pay, pending the outcome of the preliminary FDLE investigation.

This is the second time this week a death occurred after an encounter with deputies.

The first was on Thursday, when a Beverly Hills woman, 45-year-old Jessica Cribbs, was shot and killed during a drug search warrant. In that incident, the woman pointed a gun at officers and refused to put it down. She was subsequently shot by a Hernando deputy and killed. The warrant for the drug search was executed by law enforcement officers from Citrus and Hernando counties.

UPDATE:

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office on Sept. 6 identified the suicidal man shot by deputies is 64 year old Dennis Ray Blalock from Floral City.

Suspect in Homosassa home invasion returned here

A man wanted in connection with a home invasion of an elderly Homosassa man on Feb. 16 has been returned to Citrus County from Pasco County.

Josh Bernard

A man wanted in connection with a home invasion of an elderly Homosassa man on Feb. 16 has been returned to Citrus County from Pasco County.

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office said today that on Friday, Feb. 16, just before midnight, Citrus County deputies responded to a home on West Berrigan Court in Homosassa involving a home invasion involving a shooting.

When deputies arrived on scene, the homeowner, Carmelo Marchese, 71 from Homosassa, told them the suspect, whom he did not know, Josh Bernard, 36 of Homosassa, was trying to break into his home.

Marchese told deputies his dog started barking at something outside. The homeowner said at that time he grabbed his gun and went to the front door. Bernard was outside the front door and forced his way through the threshold of the home. Marchese said he warned the suspect not to come inside his home, but Bernard entered anyway. Marchese said Bernard went for the gun he was holding, and said that’s when he was forced to shoot Bernard.

Deputies found Bernard in the living room with a gunshot wound to the chest. Nature Coast EMS transported Bernard to a hospital in Pasco County, where he was medically treated, released and arrested. Bernard confessed to all charges when he was interviewed by detectives.

Bernard was extradited back to Citrus County on Thursday, and was booked in the Citrus County detention facility. He is charged for Burglary with Battery, and Battery on a person over 65 with no bond.

Bernard has a history of burglary, the Sheriff’s Office said, and was just released from jail in January for similar charges.

 

Man threatening to ‘shoot someone’ dies in hail of bullets after chase

A man who had allegedly threatened to shoot someone at a Hernando business died himself on Saturday following a chase by Citrus County deputies and a subsequent exchange of gunfire.

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office shot and killed a man who had threatened to shoot someone at a Hernando business and then led deputies on a wild chase before crashing near that business. (CCSO photo on February 17, 2018)

A Hernando man who had allegedly threatened to shoot someone at a Hernando business died himself on Saturday following a chase by Citrus County deputies and a subsequent exchange of gunfire.

At approximately 5 p.m. deputies started looking for a Blue KIA Sedona after Citrus County Sheriff’s Office dispatch received a call stating 28-year-old Brian Batchelder from Hernando was making threats to shoot someone at the Xtreme games 3 store at the U.S. 41 / State Road 200 apex across from the Cumberland Farms gas station in Hernando.

Patrol units quickly found Batchelder speeding down U.S. 41 north toward the shop. Batchelder failed to stop his vehicle, the CCSO said. A pursuit ensued Northbound on State Road 200. Because of high speeds and traffic volume, the chase was canceled. Marion County Sheriff’s Office was also notified, the CCSO said.

A short time later, deputies found Batchelder speeding down Southbound on County Road 491 and then Southbound on U.S. 41 through Hernando, passing the Xtreme games 3 store, at which point he pointed a firearm at deputies, the Sheriff’s Office said. After multiple attempts to try and stop the vehicle, Batchelder ran the red light at the U.S. 41 and S.R. 200  apex traveling at a high rate of speed, directly toward CCSO deputies who put themselves between Batchelder and citizens.

He slammed his vehicle into a sheriff’s vehicle, which in turn, pushed the cruiser into three other parked cars, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The impact of the crash forced other vehicles into a CCSO deputy. That deputy sustained non-life-threatening injuries, and the deputy was taken to a nearby hospital.

The CCSO said that deputies were then forced to discharge their weapons toward Batchelder’s vehicle. Deputies were able to get Batchelder out of the vehicle, but he died a short time later.

“This is a very tragic turn of events, where a man lost his life. We are very thankful that our officers were not seriously injured and that the many citizens who were very close to this extremely dangerous situation did not suffer catastrophic injuries,” said Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast.

“Again, we will count on FDLE to do a thorough investigation.”

FDLE will now take over the investigation. The deputies involved have been placed on administrative leave with pay per agency policy. We will not be releasing any more information regarding this case until FDLE is done with their investigation.

UPDATE ON SUNDAY, FEB. 18:

Below are the two names of the deputies who were put on paid administrative leave while the case is being investigated.

  • Deputy Ryne (no first name provided by the CCSO), who was hired on July 17, 2017;
  • Deputy Michael Anger, who was hired on Jan. 17, 2017.