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State Attorney's Office Finds Deputy Justified in Deadly Shooting Case

The deputy who shot and killed a get-away driver was in fear of death or serious physical harm when he shot his weapon, according to the state attorney's findings.

The State Attorney's Office has ruled that a deputy who recently shot and killed a woman as she tried to escape during a burglary was justified in the use of deadly force, according to findings released by the sheriff's office.

Deputy Aaron Bradley shot and on July 18 as the woman was trying to escape from a burglary in the 900 block of 66th Avenue West. Deputies said that Joanna Mojica, 26, and her boyfriend, Jesse Flores, 26, had just burglarized the house and had a car full of stolen goods when they tried to escape by driving the car at the deputy.

Three deputies tried to stop the pair, Bradley was directly in front of the car and two other deputies were to the right and left of the vehicle. Mojica drove her car directly at Bradley to try to get away, according to the report. Bradley shot his weapon five times, the first bullet hitting the hood of the car.

The two other deputies on either side of the car and also were in harm's way, according to the report. Bradley was about three car lengths from the car when Mojica accelerated toward him. He fired five shots at the car, all about a second apart.

The sheriff released the following findings on Friday:

Deputy Chief Assistant State Attorney Lon Arend states “based on a review of the evidence in this case, it is clear that the decedent (Joanna Mojica) intentionally accelerated her vehicle towards Deputy Aaron Bradley placing Deputy Bradley in reasonable fear of death or serious physical harm to himself and or other deputies on scene….the case is considered to be lawful use of deadly force.

Mojica was taken to Blake Hospital where she was pronounced dead. Flores was arrested at the scene and charged with felony murder, two counts of attempted murder and burglary. Flores was charged with felony murder because Mojica was killed during the commission of a crime.

John Quinones July 27, 2012 at 09:01 PM
Good, you try to run down the police you get whats coming to you.Oh yes to the Herald-Tribune, spare us your bleeding heart crap. We wont be rolling out the red carpet for criminals in Manatee or Sarasota counties.
CAROL GRAVES July 27, 2012 at 10:19 PM
The Deputy was trained to do his job and he did it according to the Law. This Girl was with her Boyfriend robbing a home which is a Crime and her and her Boyfriend tried to runover the Deputy so it is clear as who is wrong here so don't take up for Criminals all the time! we need to get these People ! We work hard for what we have so why should we allow people like those two to take what we have and get away with it and this Deputy didn't deserve to die for doing his job!
alisagonzalez August 09, 2012 at 04:30 PM
all you people are worthless. basically saying she deserved it. lets see u get shot in the head and have ur 7 yr old son and 4 yr old daughter live with it!!!
alisagonzalez August 09, 2012 at 04:33 PM
you would think people would have a heart, but i guess not! no one deserves what happened to her. having to let her children c her n a casket going in the ground is nothing anyone would want. r.i.p joanna<3 miss you cousin!!

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